Releasing earlier this month, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has proven to be a hit with critics and fans alike, as it not only scored extremely high with critics, but has become the best selling game in the franchise already. Even with so much buzz built around their latest game, it hasn’t always been a smooth ride behind the scenes at Kojima Productions.
For all of the early success Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has had since its release a few weeks ago, its development was constantly enveloped in controversy as a rift between Konami and Hideo Kojima went public. Initially brought on by Kojima’s name being left off a newly published list of company executives, things continued to escalate between the two with Konami removing all instances of Kojima’s name from promotional items and going as far as renaming Los Angeles based Kojima Productions to Konami Los Angeles Studio. Things don’t seem to be improving either, as another key member at Konami has quit.
Julien Merceron, Konami’s Fox Engine overseer, has reportedly left the company. While official word has not yet been released, reports indicate that Merceron made the decision based on Konami’s decision to shift its focus away from console based games and instead work primarily with mobile.
Merceron joined on with Konami back in 2013, serving as their worldwide technology director. Under his watch, both Metal Gear Solid V titles, Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, along with the most recent Pro Evolution Soccer games, started utilizing the Fox Engine. Prior to Konami, Merceron held various positions with Square Enix for seven years, acting as Chief Technology Officer at IO Interactive, Eidos and Crystal Dynamics. Eventually, he would be promoted to global technology director at Square Enix, before leaving the company in 2013.
It hasn’t been a great 2015 for Konami, and this news is just another in a long line of incidents. The popular Playable Teaser for Silent Hills that was revealed and released during E3 2014 was another casualty earlier this year due to the feud between Konami and Kojima. The free gameplay teaser was removed completely from the PlayStation Store back in April, prompting fans to quickly download the demo before it was gone forever. Some gamers even went as far as selling their PlayStation 4 consoles on eBay until the website caught wind of the practice and started taking the listings down.
Even with bad news continuing to happen behind the scenes, Metal Gear Solid fans still have a lot to look forward to as early next month, Metal Gear Online finally releases to Phantom Pain console players. A recently released trailer from Tokyo Game Show 2015 not only reveals different character and customization options, but a team deathmatch style mode known as Bounty Hunter. While console players will get to jump online in just a few weeks on October 6, PC players won’t get a shot until sometime early in 2016.
Does the news concern you at all? Will this open the flood gates for more people to leave? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.