We’d love to say that Hideo Kojima and Konami going their separate ways was all an elaborate April Fools’ joke, but unfortunately that is not the case. The video game creator, who has become synonymous with the Metal Gear Solid franchise that he created, will be finished with his longtime employment at Konami after Metal Gear Solid 5 releases this fall. The company seemed to be in a big hurry to erase all references to the creator from its website and marketing, but it looks like that decision may have been made too hastily.
After the announcement of Kojima’s impending departure, Konami explained that the game creator would not be working on the upcoming Silent Hill sequel and references to his work started to disappear from the website. His name was scrubbed off of the cover of older Metal Gear games on the website and the “from critically acclaim director, Hideo Kojima” line was removed from the product descriptions for Metal Gear Solid Legacy Collection and Snake Eater.
As Videogamer noticed, yesterday the pages reverted to their previous images and descriptions. Kojima’s name is back on the website and Konami has offered no explanation at this point. Take a look at the before and after images…
As you can see, Kojima’s name has been reinserted into the branding for both the Legacy Collection and Snake Eater. Strangely enough, the creator’s name has still not been reinserted into the cover art for Ground Zeroes or Metal Gear Solid 5, which he is still working on.
Although Konami hasn’t spoken out about the logic behind removing (or reinserting) Kojima’s name from game covers and descriptions, the change does add fuel to rumor that the split was not on the best of terms. Regardless of how the company feels about Kojima at this point, it’s undeniable that his name is a major selling-point for the Metal Gear games. Fans of the series are already speculating whether or not a reboot or sixth numbered installment in the franchise could ever work without the series creator.
Metal Gear is a major cash cow for Konami and many would be shocked if the company didn’t continue the series without Kojima – which is why it wasn’t surprising when Konami confirmed that the series would continue. It’s hard to imagine, from a marketing standpoint, what is gained by removing Kojima’s iconic name from the games that he worked on, so it seems smart that the company has reinserted them. Gamers may never know the full story, but it would be interesting to find out if the change was made willingly or if lawyers were involved.
Why do you think Konami removed and then reinserted Kojima’s name from his previous games? Would you be interested in a Metal Gear game that he didn’t create? Let us know in the comments.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain releases September 1, 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.