Earlier this year, Hideo Kojima the ceative genius behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise announced his departure from Konami. Although it’s unclear as to just why it happened, many fans and even more industry insiders cite that it was due to creative differences as well as money distribution. In a “joint statement,” Konami and Kojima released this to fans:
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 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.
Hideo Kojima stated, “I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!”
In addition, KONAMI 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 new “METAL GEAR”.
We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.
Honestly we could have sat with this knowledge and believed that Konami and Kojima parted on good terms, until we saw that they had a power struggle between the studio and the publisher which led to Konami restricting Kojima’s access to corporate email, internet, and phone. This extended to the rest of the senior staff at Kojima Productions as well.
Hideo Kojima’s name was removed from all Metal Gear Solid V branding. This means that the title won’t read “A Hideo Kojima Game.” The Kojima Productions logo has been removed from all official art, including social media, t-shirts, and the company’s LA office. In fact, Kojima Productions will now be known as Konami Los Angeles Studio.
A source at the studio told GameSpot: “After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December. At a team meeting, Mr. Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans.”
Kojima, along with some of his senior staff, will stay on at Konami as contractors until Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is finished. The game is set to release on Sept. 1. Once this happens Kojima is expected to sever all ties with Konami, and begin anew in his career.
In an interesting update of the facts, Silent Hills was just officially canceled by Konami, and without any other explanation Norman Reedus—who was cast as the lead character wasn’t given an explanation either. This can serve as proof that Konami cutting it’s “dead weight,” as it doesn’t want to pay Kojima a royalty statement due to the obvious success that Silent Hills would have brought to the Playstation 4.
In a not so surprising twist, Konami reveled that it would be launching a 1984 Metal Gear clothing line for Diamond Dog, the fictional private military company (not the David Bowie album). This adds to the mystery of the Silent Hills cancellation, and clarifies a few things as well. Let’s think about this logically from a business standpoint. Kojima gets a very good piece of the pie for Metal Gear Solid games, merchandise, and even public appearances on Konami’s dime right?
If they sever ties with him, and remove his name from their products, and future titles they will save over 45-48% of the split that they have to pay him. It will also cost less to keep him around as a consultant instead of a deciding factor for the games, merchandise look and distribution, and overall share holders meetings. The clothing line is evidence of this, as with the T-shirts costing $30 and the sweaters, and jackets being $80-85 it covers the cost of almost one copy of MGSV: The Phantom Pain. Factor in shipping, and expedition if necessary and it will easily allow Konami to build independent revenue separate from Kojima’s fingertips.
On the other hand they’ll still have to kick Kojima off a few dollars, as he was attached to the conception of the logo they will be using, but the percentage of those figure’s will be minuscule to what they’ll leave the table with. Guaranteed that when you gamble anywhere the house will always win.
Now this is all fun and good but there’s one more thing that Konami has messed up on, that will ensure they’ll be missing out on more money. And that is what we’re covering in our next article. We’re going to look at the driving factor that another industry legend has done for the Konami name, and what they’ve done to drive them away
The Gaming Ground
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