Based on all of the mounting evidence, it looks like Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima will be parting ways with Konami once development on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been completed. Not only have numerous reports supported this claim, but Konami just recently stripped away both the creator's name and Kojima Production logo from the cover of his upcoming game.
Interestingly enough, it looks like Mr. Kojima saw the writing on the wall a while ago, and went so far as to foreshadow his departure from the company in Ground Zeroes, the prologue chapter to The Phantom Pain, which released back in March of last year.
In the game's Déjà Vu missions, players are tasked with using a UV light to erase the logos of all of the Metal Gear games directed by Kojima. Doing so will prompt you with the following message, as reported by GamesRadar: "You might be able to erase the markings, but the memories will never disappear…"
Coincidence? I hardly think so. There's also video from YouTube user timesplitter88 that walks you through the mission. Give it a look below.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is set to release on September 1 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PS3, and will be coming to PC a few weeks later. The past several months leading up to its launch have been filled with drama surrounding the future of Konami.
What sort of future will Metal Gear Solid have if Kojima is no longer spearheading the franchise? Would you even be interested in playing future MGS installments if the series mastermind is no longer involved in their development?
Konami's apparent shift to mobile as it migrates away from the console landscape (sort of) could result in a very different kind of Metal Gear experience in the future. There are currently so many unknowns regarding the stealth-action franchise, and, as a longtime fan myself, I am really curious to see what we'll see in the post-Phantom Pain era.