Friday, 27 March 2015

TROLL NEWS: Uncertainty clouds the future of Metal Gear Solid as the question has to be asked: what on earth is going on at Konami with Hideo Kojima?

Hideo Kojima, perfectionist and the king of
 forgetful guard AI. Writes a mean plot too.
For nearly a month now, speculation has been rife that the widely revered creator and director of the Metal Gear Solid games, Hideo Kojima has made his last game for Konami. A deeply portentous issue when you consider Konami own all the trademarking and copyrights.

Suspicions were first raised when Hideo's name and internal production team, Kojima Productions were conspicuously absent from the new promotional material for their upcoming game 'MGSV: The Phantom Pain'.

Kojima has remained uncharacteristically absent for interview during this incident and when Konami representatives have spoken, they've been tellingly evasive over the pertinent questions posed by industry journalists.

As well as refusing to provide satisfactory answers under direct questioning, Konami have compounded the situation by issuing a series of far-too-ambigious statements, culminating in three tweets over the last few days that if anything, lend even more weight to the suggestion Kojima will be departing shortly if indeed he hasn't already gone.

Get a load of this one:

“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.”

Hmmm. There's some management double speak there but also a surefire admission that Kojima Productions as a name is now indeed defunct.

“The name and organization has changed, but as before, MGSV: TPP is continuing as a work from director Kojima and the existing team members.”

Bigger Hmmm. With a frown. If we were to get technical about that wording, it's subtly indicative. The key words in that passage are: "from", practically a past tense used here, and "existing", a jarring term in this context that appears Clumsily implicit.

When questioned by Gamespark concerning the recent week's draconian lock-down on employee communications and personal emails, Konami PR representatives said this:

“It's true that during the organizational change, there were things that were revised,”

Then when asked if Kojima himself would be doing fewer interviews too, they replied,

“Yes, it will be like that.”

Gamertroll believes that these last few exchanges indicate a tipping-point within the narrative of this slow-burning story. Whilst it's true that Japanese games companies often send out confusing signals, if Gamertroll was forced to call it: Hideo Kojima and Konami are through.

Sources: Konami, Kotaku, Gamespark.

Footnote* Since we don't know exactly what is going on, how about some 'just for fun' guesswork? If it does emerge after the release of MGS:TPP that Kojima really has departed Konami, we can look back here and see who got it right. 
Gamertroll bets the tiff (if there is one!) is over 'creative differences', specifically Konami wanting to chop-up Hideo's fantastic open-world creation, Destiny-style, to sell as a series of DLC packages! Gamertroll imagines an off-camera battle right now between the great creative forces in video gaming and the money men. If so, the future of MGS could be the latest victim of that secret war. Might be a just load of old Troll-bollocks though, but then again.. 
Anybody else got some wild ideas as to what has happened? Gamertroll would love to hear about them in the comments.

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