Konami has again dismissed reports that the Japanese giant is transitioning away from AAA software development for consoles, and remains optimistic about the future of the Metal Gear Solid franchise following the departure of creator Hideo Kojima.
Speaking during an interview with Game on Daily, the publisher’s Senior UK Community Manager, Graham Day, pointed to the likes of Metal Gear Rising as an example of taking Kojima-san’s beloved series and doing something new without his direct involvement.
"Yeah, course it can," Day said, when asked if the franchise has a future without its creator. "Metal Gear is about the story, it’s about the characters and I think, yeah…"
"It’s his baby, though," interjects the interviewer . "That’s a lot of responsibility. Isn’t that kind of daunting on the back of his departure?"
"Look at things like Metal Gear Rising," Day replied. "That was an example of the title being taken in a new direction by separate teams with obviously hands-in from other parties. And that was in itself a very, very good game as well, and that was obviously led by a completely different team."
Day then turned his attention to recent reports that Konami has decided to focus only on PES in terms of major console development.
"Don’t believe everything you read in the press," he insisted. "That’s never changed. Things have been taken out of context but that’s never changed.
"Konami has a history of making the best games around and that is something that will continue," Day assured. "That won’t change anything going forward. So people should believe in Konami, and if I was to use a tagline, PES 2016’s tagline is ‘Love the past, play the future’. And that is there for a reason. The future isn’t ending now. The future has a long, long way."
Kojima-san’s reported falling out with Konami bosses has been the subject of much debate for the past few months. The exact details of what happened remain ambiguous, although much of the chatter started after his company name was removed from various products, including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s Japanese homepage. Konami later said that this was due to a "change in production organization" within the company.
Soon after, Donna Burke, a singer-songwriter who has worked on the Metal Gear Solid franchise, claimed that Kojima-san had in fact been fired from Konami. Things didn’t stop there either; Konami later removed all references to Kojima-san from the final box art for The Phantom Pain. While we’re still none the wiser as to what happened, Kojima-san himself has asserted that he doesn’t have any plans to stop creating games going forward. He later bid an emotional farewell to Metal Gear in a new video posted online.
As for Metal Gear Solid, Day’s comments about the continuation of the franchise match previous reports that stated Konami was already working on a new entry in the stealth-action franchise. Be sure to read our review of The Phantom Pain if you haven’t already done so.