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Konami has responded to rumours circulating this morning suggesting that Metal Gear Solid director Hideo Kojima has left the company.
In a statement provided to VideoGamer.com, a Konami representative said: “Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
Rumours of Kojima’s departure appeared on Reddit earlier today after it was discovered that Kojima Productions’ logos had been removed from the Metal Gear Solid website. Kojima Productions’ website also redirects to Konami’s Metal Gear Solid portal.
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The representative declined to comment further when asked about the changes made to the developer’s website.
References to Kojima Productions and Hideo Kojima have also been removed from artwork of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes on Konami’s website (click the image below for higher resolution):
UPDATE: Konami has provided VideoGamer.com with a further statement in reference to an organisational restructure and personnel changes announced by the company earlier this month:
“As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business,” read the statement. “Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
The company has yet to comment on the reasons for Kojima Productions’ logo and Hideo Kojima’s name being removed from the Metal Gear Solid branding.
UPDATE 2: Speaking to GameSpot, an unnamed source within Kojima Productions has revealed that after work on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is completed, “Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami”.
The studio is also reported to be caught amidst a “power struggle” with Konami that has seen senior staff’s access to corporate internet, emails and phone “restricted”.