Starting with the removal of Hideo Kojima’s name from the packaging of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami has been the epicenter for a lot of rumor and gossip over the past year or so. With MGSV:TPP finally out in stores, it’s growing clear that Konami has no intention to develop any more triple-A titles outside of the Pro Evolution Soccer franchise.
Earlier this year, March specifically, Konami was publicly recruiting talent to produce the next Metal Gear Solid game. This was almost certainly intended to be developed without Hideo Kojima. Over in Europe, a couple gaming publications have done some investigating. Specifically, Gameblog of France and Eurogamer of…Europe. First reported by Gameblog and then independently confirmed by Eurogamer was that Konami is currently working on Metal Gear Online but had no plans outside of Pro Evolution Soccer for any future big titles.
Gameblog’s report stated that worldwide technology director Julien Merceron left Konami recently because he was unhappy with Konami’s shift away from console games. Merceron was largely responsible for the Fox Engine that MGSV:TPP and PES2016 run on. He’s also not the only employee to leave unhappy, excluding Kojima of course. Rika Muranaka, a composer that’s done work for Konami over the years, tweeted recently seemingly confirming the rumors:
Yes….it’s pretty sad…now, I can’t write music to any of AAA games..well, I need to find another AAA game company https://t.co/lVIFRXi95a
— Rika Muranaka #MGWV (@unjazzmusic) September 18, 2015
This gives some weight to the reports published by Gameblog, who also are confident that no recruitment was actually done this March, whatsoever. This is also in line with the statement given in May by Konami President Hideki Hayakawa in which he stated Konami would aggressively pursue mobile gaming and considered smartphones their main platform.
While all of this can seem convincing, please take it all with a grain of salt. Not a word of the latest rumors have been confirmed, denied, or commented on by Konami and remain pure speculation at this point. It’s really a shame that a company capable of making games like MGSV:TPP possible is turning its back on the console market and brilliant creators like Mr. Kojima, but the company as a whole cannot be held in contempt until the rumors are verified.