It has been coming for a long time, and yesterday it was finally confirmed: Hideo Kojima has officially left Konami. The creative mastermind behind the Metal Gear Solid series departed the game studio along with his assistant Ayako Terashima and Metal Gear producer Kenichiro Imaizumi. Kojima will now develop games for his own independent studio, Kojima Productions, the first of which will be made in collaboration with PlayStation.
This year has been a turbulent one for Kojima and Konami. It started with the company removing his name and logo from MGSV promotional material and culminated in the studio preventing him from attending the recent Game Awards. The precise nature of what caused the dispute is still not totally clear, although rumors suggest it is partly related to Konami’s shift in focus to mobile gaming and gambling machines.
“I will be taking on a new challenge by establishing my own independent studio, and I am thrilled to be able to embark on this journey with PlayStation, who I have continued to work with all these past years,” Hideo Kojima said in a statement. “I cannot wait to deliver, with PlayStation, a game that will become a compelling franchise.”
Konami hangs on to the rights for Metal Gear Solid, and in all likelihood will now be seeking out a new development team for the games. It seems that Kojima’s time working on the greatest stealth series of this generation has officially come to a close. Here’s hoping Kojima Productions will go on to produce a franchise just as iconic.