Konami's Official Word On Hideo Kojima

Konami's Official Word on Hideo Kojima

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.


Comments

    I've never played an MGS title, so I don't know if there is a rational explanation for the accompanying picture.

      Perhaps more relevant than you know!
      In some MGS games you can use Fulton recovery (that balloon thing) on certain things to recover them from the battlefield and bring them to your base.

      If you use them on enemies units, you force recruit them into your own army. So in this picture, I see Konami as Snake, forcing Kojima(the sheep) into working for him out of his own will.

      Deep. :P

        Sometimes... on your oilrig base... it gets lonely... REAL lonely.

        That sheep is your only course of action.

    Man, fuck Konami. First Castlevania now this, I'd love to know how they intend to keep making money over the next few years. I guess we can look forward to FTP Metal Gear iOS games.

    More importantly, what does this mean for Silent Hills?

      This was my immediate first thought as well. I NEED this game in my life.

      This is a real concern. After PT, I am very much interested in what Kojima has (had?) in store for Silent Hills. If he's left, where will that leave the project?

      Indeed. The prospect of Silent Hills was a heavy influence on my decision to purchase a PS4. Not the only influence, but it was significant.

    I remember hearing Dan Ryckert on Giant Bomb talking about how he went to visit Kojima Productions (while they were working on one of the Metal Gear games years ago) and being shocked at the fact that it was basically a bland office with tons of cubicles and no personality to speak of.

    I wonder if they (Konami) have forced Kojima to stay silent on it all until TPP is released so as not to cause disruption to sales / pre-orders if it turns out him and his staff have been ill-treated / given the heave ho?...since a lot of fan loyalty will be with him.

    Also who would own the Fox Engine going forward?

    It all seems very strange.

    Last edited 27/03/15 10:23 am

      I'd be very surprised if that wasn't the case. And Konami owns the Fox Engine. Kojima Productions was still a part of Konami, meaning any work they produced (including the engine) is the property of Konami.

        That might not be the case. In an American company yeah definitely but in the case of Kojima Productions it could very well be something like Fromsoft being published and owning there work and Konami being like Namco and Sony with publishing of Dark and Demon Souls, Bloodborne etc.
        Or I could be wrong but I doubt Kojima let them screw him on his franchise and tech.

          That's what had me thinking, maybe his silence and cooperation for release of rights to the tech. It'd truly suck if Kojima lost Fox engine and all the work put into it.

          ..or i'm wearing too much tinfoil.

          Last edited 27/03/15 4:37 pm

            Foil is great! It shimmers in the light.

            I imagine his silence is out of fear of legal action for damaging the parent company. It's why you don't tend to see people in higher positions of a company saying negative things about said company when they're on the way out the door. Kojima slandering Konami (regardless of the truth of his statements) would cause huge amounts of damage to the company (stock prices, people not purchasing Phantom Pain or further products because of what he said), and they'd lawyer up straight away and likely make his life a living hell for it.

          Unfortunately, Kojima Productions is a subsidiary of the Konami Corporation (built from the merging of a number of Konami studios, including Kojima's old team at Konami Computer Entertainment Japan), and their work basically exists under work-for-hire, meaning Konami maintains the rights to the tech and products they develop. It's why Konami can just rename the US Kojima Productions studio to Konami Los Angeles, why they can remove all mentions of Kojima Productions from any of the marketing of Phantom Pain, and why all Kojima Productions staff are now contractors, rather than employees.

          It's absolutely terrible, but it looks like Kojima has already been screwed out of both the Metal Gear franchise and the Fox Engine tech (which, funnily enough, he only got the financial backing to build it with by promising Konami another Metal Gear game in the way what became Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain).

    Inb4 it's all one big Kojima troll that culminates in the return of Hayter and a surprise release of Silent Hills

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