UPDATE: Yesterday, it broke that Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions has been removed from all marketing for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as well as other Metal Gear games.
Since then, GameSpot reached out to a reliable source confirming that Kojima and other executives will be leaving by the end of the year after power struggles between Kojima Productions and Konami led to the publisher restricting access to corporate internet, emails, and phone calls as well as changing the employment status of many of its employees.
Many within Kojima Productions now work as contractors for — rather than employees of — Konami. Because of this, Konami will also limit the amount of appearances lead developers can make in promotion of their game, which explains the removal of the “A Hideo Kojima Game” tagline from the Metal Gear marketing.
Here is what GameSpot’s source tells them:
“After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December,” the source claimed.
The person added: “At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans.”
Today, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. has released a statement in English confirming that Kojima will remain working on Metal Gear Solid V throughout its development, but a new team will be hired to craft a new Metal Gear franchise for Konami.
Here is the official statement:
Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.
The latest title in the METAL GEAR series, “METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.
In addition, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.
As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop a new “METAL GEAR” title.
We will be conducting auditions for main staff to lead the development.
Interested parties are encouraged to contact us to via the recruitment page of the KONAMI official website.
If you have any questions or concerns, please submit an inquiry via the “Contact Us” page.