Hideo Kojima Finally Leaves Konami (Update)


UPDATE: Look at that; Konami are denying that Hideo Kojima has left Konami. As translated on Kotaku, Konami insists the director of the Metal Gear Solid series is just on a lengthy vacation. Meanwhile Simon Parkin, the author of that New York piece, tweeted out a photo that he claims came from the October 9th farewell party that Konami is “not sure what kind of thing (that) was.” I guess it’s not over until Konami or Kojima finally says something definitive.

Even if it’s a basic understanding.

ORIGINAL: It happened. It finally happened. Per a report in the New Yorker, as of October 9th, 2015, Hideo Kojima has left the Tokyo offices of Konami. His place of business for close to three complete decades, Kojima leaves just three days after the release of the Metal Gear Online component of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, in addition to the FOB insurance policy that sees players spend real-life money to protect possible online assets from theft in the in-game infiltration system.

The New Yorker story is sourced from at least one employee at Konami, who wished to go unnamed. However, it also reports that Hideo Kojima will likely find a new studio once his non-compete clause expires later this December. No possible names were proposed.

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Hideo Kojima received a departure ceremony with more than a hundred guests in attendance, although neither Konami’s president, nor C.E.O. were witnessed in attendance. The piece suggests that Kojima left Konami more because of the shift towards mobile gaming within the industry, as opposed to personal or artistic differences. It references the Nikkei article that points to the idea that creative employees who haven’t adapted to meet the changing winds of the Japanese gaming industry were redeployed to menial jobs, such as pachinko factory assembly, security guarding or janitorial work.

Regardless of the exact reason for the departure of Hideo Kojima from Konami, I wouldn’t be surprised if he hasn’t been fielding calls for the past few months. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s success should prove to be a double-edged sword for the director’s prospects, creating a massive game that feels unfinished in nature. If it took roughly $80 million to get to an incomplete open world game, with a substantial chunk of gameplay hidden behind more difficult replays of previous missions, it will certainly give prospective partners at least pause. It will be interesting to see where Hideo Kojima goes from here.

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