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Konami announces plan for brand new Metal Gear series

UPDATE: Kojima issues statement, says he'll continue working on MGS5. But then?

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:

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:

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.