Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain not only marked the completion of the story arc, but ended the long term relationship between Konami and Hideo Kojima.
This doesn’t mean Konami is saying goodbye to the franchise, it is already recruiting staff for a new game. However, the new “Metal Gear” will likely be a low-budget spin-off like Rising, and not a full fledged high-end “Metal Gear Solid” title.
On the other hand, Kojima has officially left Konami and has now formed his own indie studio, Kojima Productions. His first game is a PlayStation 4 exclusive that is being developed in partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment.
In all of this, we are still to be provided an explanation on what exactly happened. Why Konami and Kojima parted ways? The bad news is that we are never going to get an official explanation from Konami, nor Hideo Kojima.
In fact, the legendary developer is reportedly under agreement with Konami and he is reportedly blocked by the company from discussing what happened.
However, Hideo is a smart man and while speaking with NewYorkers, he may actually have spilled the beans in an indirect way.
If we connect the dots, it looks like Konami moving towards mobile, not taking risks with its games, not having a “keen sense of what works,” less focus on creativity and more on profits, are the reasons behind the split. In short, creative differences are to blame.
Games matured beyond simple interactive toys and into a rich medium that could deliver drama and other deeper elements. At that point, Japanese games became a hard sell: their sensibilities and cultural identity were distinct and unrelatable.The only way to create high-end games is to target the global market. But in order to target the global market, the management behind the project needs to have a keen sense for what will work, and be willing to take risks.
If you’re only focussed on the profits immediately in front of you, the times will leave you behind. When working in big companies, especially Japanese companies, every little thing has to be approved beforehand, and you need paperwork to do anything. Now that I’m independent, I can do what I want with much more speed. I don’t need to invest time in unnecessary presentations. I shoulder the risk. When I was in a company, my personal statements could be taken as the overall direction of the company. As such, I couldn’t say just anything.
From his comments we can get a pretty good idea of what happened, but now that Kojima is a free bird, he is his own boss, he no longer has to worry about corporate leeches sucking on his vision.