UPDATE 2: Hideo Kojima has issued a joint statement with Konami following recent rumours about his status within the Japanese game company.
"I want to reassure fans that I am 100 per cent involved and will continue working on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain," he said.
"I'm determined to make it the greatest game I've directed to date. Don't miss it!"
Kojima's comment backs up a previous statement from Konami, below, but does not address the rumour he, along with other Kojima Productions executives, will leave the Japanese company at the end of the year.
UPDATE 1: Konami has released its statement in English, confirming plans to create a new Metal Gear series.
In the statement Konami claims Hideo Kojima, tipped to leave Konami at the end of the year, will see development of Metal Gear Solid 5 to the end.
Here's the statement in full, as published on Konami's website:
- Notification Regarding "METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN"
- 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.
ORIGINAL STORY: Amid rumours that Hideo Kojima will leave Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid 5, the Japanese company has stressed its commitment to the series.
Yesterday Kojima's name and studio, Kojima Productions, were removed from Metal Gear Solid 5 and Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes marketing materials. Kojima was not on an updated list of executives at the company, either.
Last night a report from Gamespot claimed Kojima and the rest of Kojima Productions' management were set to exit Konami after what was described as a "power struggle" between the famed developer and Konami's top brass.
In a thinly-veiled response to yesterday's events, Konami today issued a press release through its Japanese website announcing its intention to develop a brand new Metal Gear series - and it wants to recruit a brand new team to build it (thanks to NeoGAF user duckroll for the translation).
While not confirmation of the rumour of Kojima's impending exit, Konami's press release does reinforce it. Kojima has yet to address the matter on Twitter.
Here's Konami's statement it issued yesterday:
- Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.
The branding changes appear to relate to a restructure at Konami, announced earlier this month, to what the company calls "a headquarters-controlled system".
The idea seems to be that Konami should be front and centre of all branding and production efforts, not individual studios such as Kojima Productions.
Heading off.pic.twitter.com/JWyh4DbeIY”— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 16, 2015