Yesterday, Konami gave a statement via the Japanese Metal Gear Twitter account to attempt to clear the air on what’s going on with Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions.
As Kotaku previously reported, the Kojima Productions brand has been dissolved and even removed from upcoming title Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. It seems “A Hideo Kojima Game” has been removed, too.
After apologising for causing concern and being unable to answer each individual question, the Tokyo-based game company stated, “In accordance with the recent change in production organisation of all of Konami, Kojima Productions, as well as other internal production companies, has had its name, etc., changed to move into the corporate headquarters work structure.”
“The name and organisation has changed, but as before, MGSV: TPP is continuing as a work from director Kojima and the existing team members.”
Continuing in a new tweet, Konami added, “The social networking account has also been changed, but the new account has the same Metal Gear team members as the previous one, and is updating with the latest news. As the team members who are tweeting is unchanged, we would like your continued support and follows.”
Phew. I know everyone was very concerned about the Twitter team.
“Naturally,” Konami wrote in the third and final tweet in this series, “director Kojima is playing the game, checking all the small details and giving directions to the staff as the title continues to completion. Bringing the thoughts and ideas of director Kojima in an open world game of the size of TPP is incredibly difficult, the director and the team that’s been there from the start are coming together as one as they aim to finish the game, so please give them the support they need.”
This, of course, was followed by tweets and comments from fans saying they wanted to hear directly from Kojima. On popular Japanese game blogs like My Game News Flash, many commenters said they did not trust what Konami was saying. “Who actually believes this?” wrote one commenter.
This isn’t the first time Konami’s Tokyo headquarters has addressed the issue, but the company has been rather tightlipped about what’s been happening.
In a recent interview with Japanese site Gamespark, Konami PR answered a series of questions about Kojima, including whether or not he had been let go. “He is still a Konami employee, devoted with all his energy to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.” Gamespark tried to get clarification as to whether Kojima was a full-time or a contract employee, but the spokesperson replied, “I am unable to comment on an individual’s type of employment.”
One of the most interesting questions Gamespark asked was this: “Is there truth to the rumour that Kojima Productions staff are being restricted in their email and internet use?”
“It true that during the organisational change, there were things that were revised,” said Konami PR, adding that this was done to make an environment where staff could give “undivided attention to development.” And that sounds like a fun work environment. Hopefully Konami still lets them listen to music and talk to each other.
So, surely, that still means they can tweet after work? Or do video podcasts? Or give interviews? When Gamespark asked if this meant Kojima would be doing fewer interviews, Konami replied, “Yes, it will be like that.”
Restricted email and internet at work? Few press appearances? No more Kojima Productions? Making Metal Gear has changed.