Konami is best known for being the games publisher behind series like Pro Evolution Soccer, Silent Hill and Metal Gear. But lately, the Japanese company has been making headlines for an apparent rift between itself and Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise. The controversy began earlier this year when Konami posted a new executive list on its website, which Kojima was absent from although he was the Executive Content Officer.
Shortly after this, the publisher began to remove Kojima’s name from Metal Gear websites and box art, including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which Kojima says will be his last Metal Gear game. Then, Silent Hills (the project between Kojima and Guillermo del Toro) was cancelled, with the demo removed from the PlayStation Store and fan broadcast Kojima Station was also shuttered indefinitely.
Despite all of this, the publisher hasn’t actually shed much light on what’s going on. As a result it has been up to anonymous sources to fill in the pieces for fans, including a YouTube video that stated that “hundreds of people will lose their jobs” and that Konami is going to “burn” the MGS franchise to the ground. Konami filed a copyright claim to have the video taken down but after YouTube reinstated the video, the publisher has now turned its attention to Twitter, where one journalist says Konami made them delete content too.
After attending a press event for The Phantom Pain, Italian journalist Antonio Fucito sent out a tweet that roughly translates to “About Kojima, Konami said that will be cleared up soon. In the game, however, [Kojima] is present everywhere, from the credits to the poster!” But when one eagle eyed follower asked what happened to the tweet, Fucito explained that “Konami kindly request to delete it, don’t know why exactly” but the journalist added that “the [deleted] content was true”.
While it is clear to outsiders that all is not well at Konami, the lack of clarification is making the situation worse. Followers of the series are uncomfortable with being left in the dark and although Konami has reassured fans that the Metal Gear series will live on, it is difficult for gamers to have much faith in the company when they don’t really know what’s happening. Given the fact the Konami has also announced plans to focus more on mobile gaming, it’s no wonder that console players are having serious doubts too.
Unfortunately, we are unlikely to get much more official information soon. With the removal of that tweet and the (temporary) takedown of that video, Konami has made it clear that they are unhappy with the narrative that’s painting them as a company that ‘fired’ Kojima or forced him out. The publisher also won’t want The Phantom Pain to be overshadowed when it launches later this year, so it will likely do its best not to add more fuel to the fire.
Are you concerned about the future of Metal Gear? What do you think Konami should do to fix the public”s perception of them? Leave a comment and let us know.