Okay guys, as far as the Video Game Awards have been going, you may have seen our beloved Geoff Keighley making a statement about the obvious ignorance of Kojima not being allowed to accept his award because Konami legally banned him from doing so. Hideo Kojima has long been a favorite developer of mine and it saddens me to see his career be disrespected so blatantly. If any of you are feeling the same and maybe want a little more depth to the problem, I am happy to offer up some detail.
So, when Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was given a release date, Konami suddenly decided to remove the Kojima Production logo. No information was given until Kojima himself released a statement saying that the company was simply “restructuring” (if you have ever worked for a privately owned business, they may have used this term to fire you or lay you off). Some time later, it was found that Kojima and his team were listed as “contracted” which means they have a time limit on how long they work with the company and are bound to that contract. After the completion of MGS5, they would be released from the contract (meaning release from the company as well).
Although this was a month long process of Konami reassuring fans that Kojima was of course, working on another of his masterpieces, job listings for the game were appearing and marketing material for the Kojima brand were disappearing. The simple answer to this was that they wanted to make sure the Konami brand was front and center (as if to say Kojima was too popular for their liking). The whole thing is sounding really fishy at this point because they have not confirmed whether Kojima is still a part of the company or just contracted.
Now, does anyone remember that AMAZING playable extended trailer for Silent Hills? Well, if you’ve been playing as long as Metal Gear has existed, you can clearly spot Kojima’s work. However, Konami decided to pull his name from the project. This of course, sank hearts because we love our Kojima and we also know that this usually means the game won’t be completed, or be redone completely in an entirely different way which we don’t want because we had our hopes set on the Kojima/Guillermo version. Then they removed the playable trailer from the Playstation Store. We all knew it was done at this point but we even heard it directly from Del Toro that it wasn’t happening. This hurt fans, but even he described his new friendship with Kojima as “beautiful”.
The same day all that happens, Konami removed itself from the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange FYI). The reason was that it was “no longer economically justified”. Then, we’re all wondering if the company is going completely out of business or if they’re just trying to work the system to keep money that should go to Kojima? Then, (in what seems like a big cover-up) Konami announces its “Mobile First” planning while apologizing for the Silent Hills incident. They claim MGS and Silent Hills were not at a stage to have a guaranteed release date.
After all of this utter disrespect for the developer and his fanbase, Konami goes even further and completely removes Kojima’s name and the Kojima Productions logo from the box of MGS5. Our loving Kojima still gets a last laugh by creating a mission in MGS5 where Snake has to use a UV light to remove all the logos from games Kojima was involved in. When you complete it, you get a message saying “You might be able to erase the markings, but the memories will never disappear.” We all hope this all turns around for the better but, no matter what, our love for Kojima-san will never change.