Finally the weird and tragic saga of Hideo Kojima and Konami is over! A fruitful relationship that started almost 30 years ago with release of the original Metal Gear is now bookended by the distasteful and turbulent release of Metal Gear Solid V.
Kojima-san and the MG(S) series have been an important part of the DNA of gaming and both the game and its creator have become celebrities in the eyes of the fans. So when the turmoil started at Konami back in 2012 no one batted an eye. Companies restructure in the midst of new projects all the time no big deal. Well to us the community it was a big deal. Kojima-san just released Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeros and it was hinting at a new mainstay MGS and a new Silent Hill. On the outside looking in all seemed well in the relationship that was Kojima and Konami but that was far from the truth.
In 2015, the relationship between Kojima-san and Konami fractured right down the middle. Kojima Productions Los Angeles was renamed Konami LA and the publisher began taking Kojima’s name and branding off of the games that he spent almost 30 years creating. The fighting continued even as Kojima was preparing to his final act in the Metal Gear universe. MGSV: Phantom Pain hit a rough patch of release dates before the date of September 1st, 2015 was finally set, also leading us to believe that all would be well. News would later break that Konami was taking the Kojima Productions name off of the game which seemed to be the last straw for no only Kojima himself but fans as well. Soon after a report was released via many different game blogs and publications that Konami had been grossly mistreating its employees, leading fans to worry about Kojima-san and his future with the company and as a creator. Things would reach fever pitch when Kojima, who was supposed to make an appearance at The Game Awards was a no show. Geoff Keighley would later announce that night that Kojima was barred by Konami from making an appearance and could not accept any awards for his work. Even though the fan outrage was more than felt around the world, little did we know something amazing was happen.
As of December 15th, 2015, Kojima officially walked away from Konami and the long time video game series he had helped create. Not one to take a break, Kojima-san took to social media to announce his new video game endeavor, Kojima Productions. The first order of business for Kojima and his new independent game studio was a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment and the Playstation brand. SCE CEO Andrew House made the partnership official and stated that Kojima Productions first game would be a Playstation exclusive.
Kojima-san is not the first and will not be the last of the major developer/creators to go independent and continue to help the culture of gaming.
Here is to Hideo Kojima and Homo Ludens (Those Who Play)