Developer George Broussard discusses a new rumor via Twitter indicating that Konami shut down Kojima Productions Los Angeles and fired all 35 employees.
According to rumors, one of Hideo Kojima’s former studios, Kojima Productions Los Angeles, has been closed by Konami and all 35 staff members have been let go. The rumor comes from 3D Realms and Apogee co-founder George Broussard, who has an established track record with breaking news related to layoffs. Oddly enough, the LA studio, which was recently rebranded as Konami Los Angeles Studios, is still listed on Konami’s website and even has a number of positions open.
BREAKING: Rumor tells me that Konami has shut down the Kojima Productions LA studio, taking with it approx 35 jobs, just before Xmas.— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) November 3, 2015
The rumor appears to have been corroborated by Sony Computer Entertainment America producer Sam Thompson, who also took to Twitter to lament the loss of the studio and jobs. Still, with no official word from Konami, this report will remain as just a rumor for now.
Really sad news about the loss of Konami's Los Angeles studio. Happy thoughts to all those affected. End of an era for sure, stay strong.— Venice Beach Gandalf (@PortableKingpin) November 2, 2015
Sadly, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a situation like this involving Kojima Productions. A few moths ago, Japanese voice actor Akio Otsuka, took to Twitter to state that Kojima Productions was forced to disband prior to the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. This behavior does align with the aggressive manor in which Konami has been working to distance themselves from Hideo Kojima including rebranding his social media accounts, removing his name from marketing materials, and canceling his next video game project, Silent Hills, with director Guillermo del Toro.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain continues to be a wild financial success for Konami, so its a little odd seeing a studio and its staff shuttered completely. The LA studio was responsible for work on Metal Gear Online, though development shifted back to the Japanese office shortly before MGO launched. Prior to release, rumors circulated that Konami was leaving the AAA games space in favor of mobile and pachinko games, which the company has denied time and time again. With the closing of a major AAA studio, signs continue to point to this rumor as a reality.
The saga between Hideo Kojima and Konami continues on, even though the legendary developer reportedly left the company earlier in October. Days after pictures circulated around the internet showing Kojima having a farewell party with his studio, Konami quickly released a statement saying Kojima hasn’t left the company and is just on an extended vacation. For some reason, Konami appears to be either unwilling or unable to close the door with Kojima, even though he clearly has with them.
What do you make of this situation? Is Konami really leaving AAA games development or is this a move related to the feud started between Kojima and Konami? Let us know your take below in the comments.
Source: George Broussard