UPDATE 4th November 2015: Konami has confirmed it's closed its LA studio responsible for Metal Gear Online.
In a statement issued to Polygon, Konami said it would continue to support Metal Gear Solid 5 and that Metal Gear Online will still come out next year on PC. Eurogamer had asked Konami for comment but it failed to respond.
Here's the statement:
- Konami has made the decision to close its Los Angeles Studio, effective immediately, due to the product development resources being restructured into a more centralized unit.
- This facility contributed to the recent Metal Gear Solid games. Konami will continue its operations to support all Metal Gear Solid titles, including the recently launched Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Online. Metal Gear Online is still scheduled to release for PC Steam in January 2016.
ORIGINAL STORY 3rd November 2015: Konami has closed its LA studio, sources close to the matter have confirmed to Eurogamer, with over 20 jobs lost in the process.
Rumours of the closure emerged last night via a number of tweets from developers, including 3D Realms co-founder George Broussard.
BREAKING: Rumor tells me that Konami has shut down the Kojima Productions LA studio, taking with it approx 35 jobs, just before Xmas.— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) November 3, 2015
Konami opened the LA studio in 2013, initially as an arm of Kojima Productions to help with the development of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, and more specifically with its multiplayer component, Metal Gear Online.
At its peak, the LA studio employed between 50 and 60 people, though recent months have seen that number dwindle. In March, it emerged the LA studio was renamed Konami Los Angeles Studio, in line with the rebranding that saw Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima's name removed from the cover art of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
Hideo Kojima left Konami early in October, according to reports, following the strained development of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain which saw Kojima's name removed from promotional materials, Kojima Productions absorbed into Konami and Silent Hills, a project being worked on by Kojima and Mexican director Guillermo del Toro, cancelled.
Metal Gear Online launched on 6th October, and has since received a significant update and patch. Eurogamer understands that work on Metal Gear Online was transferred to Konami's Japanese studio shortly before the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, with the Los Angeles studio providing support. In the studio's last days it saw numerous departures, with the staff that remained brainstorming new ideas - some of which were Metal Gear related. Staff were notified of the studio's closure yesterday.
Eurogamer has approached Konami for official comment.