Japanese voice actor Akio Otsuka has seemingly confirmed what we have long feared: Kojima Productions has effectively been disbanded ahead of the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in September.
As the artist who brings Snake to life in Konami’s native country of Japan, Otsunka’s comments, while unconfirmed, do hold a degree of weight. Couple this with the fact that the final boxed version of The Phantom Pain strips Hideo Kojima’s name from the picture and it’s not exactly outside the realm of possibility. While there are still a lot of grey areas surrounding the esteemed developer’s imminent exit, it’s understood that his contract will expire under Konami by the year’s end, long after the upcoming stealth sequel has shipper to the public.
In a loosely translated interview picked up by Livedoor News (via Kotaku), Ostunka notes that the reputable studio – which has acted as the godfather of the Metal Gear Solid since its inception – will be no more after The Phantom Pain debuts.
“Kojima Productions got dissolved,” Otsuka’s roughly translated remarks read. “And due to the team’s hard effort, the game is just about finished. This is no exaggeration, but it’s bound to be a supreme masterpiece! I can’t help it if I want to say, ‘I kept you waiting.’ (lol) Even if this is the last time… MGS lives forever!”
In more positive news, Konami did note that the publisher will host the first public playable build of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain at Gamescom next month. By that stage, the development team will be largely taking feedback for potential post-launch patches and tweaks to the retooled and rebooted Metal Gear Online. It’s understood it’ll be joined on the trade show floor at Cologne by PES 2016.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will mark the end of an era – arguably one of the most prestigious in the industry – when it releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on September 1. PC owners will have to wait two weeks later until September 15.