The cat’s out of the bag. Hideo Kojima, and most of his production company, are fully divorcing themselves from Konami. While Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain is almost complete, there wiill be no more MGS titles in the future created or overseen by Kojima.
Kojima’s had a long history of claiming to be done with the franchise, citing with each release that it’s his last. It’s become such a long-standing issue that at this point Kojima’s intention to move on is a legendary running joke. But while those past claims always came with a caveat of Kojima at least producing or overseeing subsequent games, this situation is something far more permanant and binding. Kojima and his studio are making a clean break from Konami, meaning that the entire future of the MGS franchise is up in the air once Phantom Pain is released. Already we’re hearing questions being raised about what Konami has up their sleeves. Will they reboot the franchise? Continue it as-is?
Personally, I feel Konami should reboot the series and bring in fresh voices who are willing to make it their own. Just like all good reboots/reimaginings ( Star Trek , Fright Night , DMC , etc), what MGS needs is a game director/studio head who has a vision for what it can be that’s as unique and singular as Kojima’s has been for over two decades now. I don’t just want more of the same. That leads to watered-down copycat content. I want the new MGS to feel new and vital.
A big concern that’s left up in the air with the Kojima/Konami split is just where does this leave P.T. / Silent Hills ? Given that Kojima is no longer affiliated with the game’s publisher, and also taking into account Del Toro’s tendency to heap too many projects on his plate all at once ( Insane ‘s dead in the water at this point, right?), I have a sneaking suspicion that P.T. is the closest we’re ever going to get to their vision of what Silent Hills could have been. Fingers crossed that I’m wrong.
However things play out from here, one thing is for sure: Konami is a publisher without a solid identity. I think Kojima leaving is a sign that it’s time for the heads of that company to reevaluate their place in the industry, and start developing must-play games… MGS , Silent HIll , or otherwise.