As you may have heard, Hideo Kojima has recently upped and gone missing. Where has he gone and why would he leave his fans behind? Read on as I discuss the possible reasoning behind this, along with the potential advantages and disadvantages this could have for both Konami and Kojima-san himself.
After reported arguments between Hideo Kojima and Konami, Hideo's 'Kojima Productions" logo began to disappear from all things Konami related. Even the sentence "A Hideo Kojima game" had reportedly been removed from the opening sequence of Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain. Social Media then went quiet and Hideo's main Twitter feed then also had the silent treatment.
As you can see, at the present time of this article Hideo's official Twitter page (@kojima_hideo) has remained inactive since March 19th, and for a man who always loves to share his life and meals with us, that's a very long time to hear nothing at all. It also raises questions.
So, what's the deal? Why has Hideo vanished and why have Konami not been saying anything?
Well, as a matter of fact, Kotaku reported earlier that Konami have in fact released an official statement on the matter, over Twitter. Three in fact, to which I've quoted below:
“In accordance with the recent change in production, organization 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 organization has changed, but as before, MGSV: TPP is continuing as a work from director Kojima and the existing team members.”
“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.”
“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.” - MGS V's Official Japanese Twitter page, via Kotaku
So we have some clarification now, but there's still a whole lot yet to be discovered. Having your name removed from the opening sequence of a game that you personally directed, as well as having your own personal brand, a brand that represents your dedication and years of hard work given to a series that's loved, not just by yourself, but by the millions, only to then have it forcibly removed from your most ambitious title yet, is like ripping a badge of honour away from a War Hero, essentially stripping him of all his ranks.
This to me is terrible. It's terrible news for us as fans of the Metal Gear Solid series and it must be absolutely soul destroying and heartbreaking for Hideo if this is indeed a permanent decision that Konami have made.
Would it be fair to say that Hideo has gone AWOL because he's upset, frustrated, stressed and worried about the direction and level of control that he has (or lacks) over his own created series? Yes. Yes it would, and if he's silently sulking behind the scenes, he has every right to do so.
Whether or not we hear back from Kojima in the near future is something of a mystery, but this situation itself raises some very interesting points.
If Konami ever let go of Hideo, Kojima Productions would cease to exist. Afterall, you could still keep the main team in place, but as soon as you remove the front man, you remove his/her name from all future products. In this case it'd cause huge public outcry, likely lose Konami a nations worth of fans and ultimately put the nail in the coffin for an almost flawless AAA series.
If this were to happen however, and I'd say this is a pretty big if, we could be re-living the events of Capcom and Clover Studio's closure all over again. I mean this in the sense that Capcom closed down arguably their best studio, which in turn ended up costing them the majority of their top Producers. Hideki Kamiya of Devil May Cry (the original) fame went off with most of the Ex-Clover staff to form Platinum Games and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine the same thing happening here.
Konami without Kojima could potentially mean the end of Metal Gear, but of course this all depends on how many rights Hideo has over his own projects and to what lengths Konami are prepared to go to, in order to keep the Metal Gear series as one of their main profit bringers. I personally feel that they'll take Metal Gear to the grave, though it would be nice to have a third Zone of the Enders game.
Still, Hideo Kojima is a very knowledgeable man and with his level of expertise, if he ever opened up his own Studio, we could be in for a real treat.
Have an opinion you'd love to share with us? Let us know in the comments or hit me up on twitter - @CaptainCortez
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