It’s been an interesting last few weeks for Metal Gear Solid fans, who watched the series prolific creator, Hideo Kojima, systematically distance himself from publisher Konami Entertainment. At first, it seemed like part of some hoax, what with April Fools coming right around the corner, but once Kojima’s name started disappearing from websites and product listings it became clear this was no joke.
As a result, many fans are now more reticent about the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain – a game that up until now looked to be a huge seller for 2015. That still may be true (and likely is), but with talk of fan boycotts things may get interesting.
However, two voice actors for Metal Gear Solid 5, iDroid voice Donna Burke and Japanese voice actor Akio Otsuka, are urging fans not to boycott the game. They feel that Kojima’s work on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is still worth celebrating and appreciating, and would have fans focus on that element rather than punishing Konami.
Interestingly, both Otsuka and Burke suggest that Konami fired Kojima, which further adds to speculation that the separation was anything but amicable. Considering the curt nature of the split, many believed that Hideo Kojima had been none too happy with the situation, but this is the first time we have heard some actually claim he had been fired.
Yes don't throw away the Kojima teams work over the last 5 years because upper management fired a genius— Donna Burke (@db_singer_actor) April 9, 2015
However, not too long after these tweets surfaced, Konami reached out to say that claims of Kojima’s firing are “categorically incorrect.” Clearly, there is more at play than any one person can explain, but the use of “fire” is still sure to have fans speculating.
It also seems clear that Konami is trying to their best to do a little damage control, keeping the fan base interested in their products despite Kojima’s diminished involvement. For example, they returned the Kojima logo to a product listing for Metal Gear Solid 5 after first removing it.
So, at the very least, the publisher has moved back into a place where they can acknowledge Kojima’s existence. However, Kojima’s name has been removed from the official Silent Hills site, so don’t expect any sort of mutual understanding on that front.
Regardless of Kojima’s relationship with Konami, both Burke and Otsuka make important points. Metal Gear Solid 5 is still Kojima’s project, his work of “genius” as they call it, and therefore it’s not worth punishing Konami by boycotting the game. Sure, many casual fans will have no idea about any of this and will just purchase the game based on the name, but others may be more reticent now than they were before. Hopefully these comments will change their minds.
Do you think fans will really boycott Metal Gear Solid 5? Do you think Kojima was fired?
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain releases September 1, 2015 for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.