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Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima’s split with Konami over near-abusive work conditions was one of the biggest news stories in the video game world last year. It looks like Kojima is getting some revenge on his former employers, though, as he has managed to bring one of their top executives into his new studio at Kojima Productions.
Recently spotted by a writer at The Koalition, it appears that Shinji Hirano, former president of Konami Europe, now lists his current job on his LinkedIn profile as President of Kojima Productions. It appears that Hirano has been president for at least a month now, with the start date being listed as November 2016. His profile also shows that Hirano left his last position as “Corporate Officer, Division Director, Sales Division” at Konami Digital Entertainment back in March. Its actually pretty surprising that no one noticed Hirano’s absence from Konami, given that he was not only well known as president of Konami Europe, but for hosting Konami press conferences at E3 as well.
Of course, Hirano isn’t the first employee Kojima has sneaked away from Konami. Back when the fledgling studio was first formed, it consisted of only four employees: Hideo Kojima himself, as well as his personal assistant, art director Yoji Shinkawa, and former Konami producer Kenichiro Imaizumi. Though they may seem like a very humble group of indiviudals, the fact that Kojima, Shinkawa and Imaizumi had all previously worked together on developing games in the Metal Gear series was good sign of the talent and games that would come.
With the addition of Shinji Hirano as president, there’s no doubt that all this talent will result in the studio’s debut title, Death Stranding, will meet the same level that fans on Kojima’s Metal Gear series have come to expect. While the game is still shrouded in mystery, a recent trailer at PSX 2016 gives gamers a good idea of what the game will be like, as well as showing off some of the famous faces in the game, including Walking Dead star Norman Reedus and dark fantasy filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
Death Stranding will be released on the PlayStation 4 sometime prior to 2019.