by Matt Stanyon

In a fresh interview with GameSpark (via Reddit and The Snake Soup), Konami’s Editorial Department has revealed that Hideo Kojima will continue as the director of the Metal Gear series, and that because of the reorganization at Konami, Kojima Productions Japan will be disbanded. Konami says that “all releases previously made under different studios will be centralized and coordinated from headquarters.”

We’ve also got confirmation that the staff at Kojima Productions Japan are dealing with restricted internet and e-mail access, because of the reorganization, so that they can provide a greater development environment, and that Hideo Kojima will become less available for interviews.

Will Kojima Productions be disbanded?
Yes. All releases previously made under different studios will be centralized and coordinated from headquarters.

Will Kojima be leaving his position?
Kojima will remain the director of the “Metal Gear” series. He will continue to innovate with new ideas as creator.

What about talks of him stepping down as director? Are those true?
He is still one of our employees, and is continuing to work full-strength on “MGSV:TPP”.

And is it true that he has been changed to a contract employee?
We cannot reveal private details.

Is it true that KojiPro’s staff have restricted internet and e-mail access?
It is true that the reorganization has resulted in this. This is done in order to provide a greater development environment.

In that case, will Kojima be less available for interviews?
As a result, yes.

The last couple of days have been crazy when it comes to the future of Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions Japan. It all started when Konami started removing Hideo Kojima’s name from all websites, social media and Metal Gear Solid branding, and even renamed the new Kojima Productions LA Studio to Konami Los Angeles Studio. Then, an inside source at Konami said that Hideo Kojima will apparently leave the publisher following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Apparently, Kojima Productions and Konami have had a fallout which led to senior staff at the studio getting restricted access to corporate internet, e-mails and phones, and meant that key developers like Hideo Kojima would have limited opportunities to lend their names to promotions for the game. The fallout was described as a “power struggle” between Kojima Productions and Konami, and led the publisher to make “drastic changes,” including the employee status of its Metal Gear team, which saw some senior staff becoming contractors at the publisher rather than permanent employees.

Following that, Konami revealed that were planning to “embark on production of a “new Metal Gear series” after the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and that they were seeking “key staff” to work on that “new Metal Gear series”, with auditions to “begin” upon production. They also revealed that Hideo Kojima would “remain involved throughout” the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Hideo Kojima himself said that he is “100% involved” in the continued development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and will continue working on the game until the end.

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