The ongoing bitter circus involving Hideo Kojima, Kojima Productions and Konami enters its next phase, as it seems all emblems of the development team have been removed from the cover of The Phantom Pain.
The epic Metal Gear Solid V saga is shaping up to be the final chapter of the MGS universe to come from Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes serves both a story prologue and gameplay introduction to the more expansive Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, scheduled to release this September. With an open-world setting, a plethora of new gameplay mechanics, and the re-introduction of an online multiplayer mode, The Phantom Pain is quite possibly the most ambitious project yet from Kojima Productions.
Several anonymous statements from within Konami and KP were made public this past March, suggesting Konami was in the process of dissolving Kojima Productions, with the remaining employees reduced to contracted positions; it was also revealed that the remnants of Kojima Productions would depart from Konami after the release of The Phantom Pain. The past few months have been home to a flurry of conflicting reports from anonymous sources, voice actors, and Konami itself, regarding the fate of Kojima Productions and their involvement with MGSV:
The recently-opened Kojima Productions LA studio was renamed to “Konami Los Angeles Studios”. Shortly after, the Kojima Productions “FOX” logo was removed from all MGSV promotional pictures and the online page for Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection. Despite these changes, Konami confirmed that “Mr. Kojima will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products”, though the company is undergoing mass restructuring, with the cancellation of Silent Hills and a possible shift towards the mobile gaming market.
While the Kojima Productions logo and the traditional “A Hideo Kojima Game” were reinstated on later promotional pieces, the finalized box for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will have no traces of Kojima Productions on the cover; the only remaining identifier is the FOX Engine logo next to the ESRB rating:
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will release for PC, Xbox One, 360, PS4 and PS3 on 9/1.
Images courtesy of Konami, Sony