Recently, Hideo Kojima and Konami decided to split shortly after the former completes Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain , and based on what little information we have, their divorce is messy . Caught in crossfire of this power struggle is P.T., which the publisher recently pulled from PSN. In addition, Konami has removed Kojima’s name from its upcoming products, and, to add the final nail to the coffin, canceled the Silent Hills . Understandably confused and upset, fans have banded together to create a petition, naively hoping that this will be enough to convince Hideo Kojima to continue working on the game with Guillermo del Torro.
As a long time fan, I feel the pain caused by the professional divorce. I, too, have cringed at the mishaps that Western developers have made with the franchise since Team Silent left Konami; and although I was skeptical about Kojima taking over the franchise, I was ready for him to assume the role of the new stepparent after playing P.T . Obviously, the divorce metaphor begins to fall apart because fans will (hopefully) not blame themselves for the two’s severing of ties; nonetheless, there are many fans desperately attempting to rekindle the flame – 112,702 petition supporters, in fact, at the time of writing. But what the creator of this petition and supporters need to realize is that the development behind Silent Hills has deeper issues, and it simply isn’t going to happen.
The petition was clearly a passionate reaction to the bad news. The writer, Yauheni Zinkevich, addresses Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, pleading them to continue working on Silent Hills despite any financial issues they might face. He even encourages them to start a crowdfunding campaign if necessary. While I have little doubt the fans would willingly help support the game financially, Kojima’s issue with the project doesn’t concern money, unless he desired to purchase the license from Konami, who would have more leeway recruiting the Hollywood talent associated with the game.
That’s not to say that Konami is the reason for the success of P.T. Considering how the publisher has fumbled with its beloved properties Castlevania and Silent Hill , I believe it needs Kojima more than he needs it. But Kojima is a creative individual who needs more variety in his life. We made fun of him in the past for claiming Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty would be the last entry he’d direct – we know how that turned out. However, last year he also expressed interest in creating new, smaller games . He has the opportunity to do that now, as he will soon be free from the shackles of his publisher.
Konami, on the other hand, remains committed to the Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid franchises, meaning it won’t relinquish control anytime soon. By removing Kojima’s name from the box of The Phantom Pain , and by disbanding Team Silent years earlier, Konami has made its message clear: it doesn’t need the original developers. Konami’s brass owns the properties, and they can do with them whatever they want, even if it means handing them to developers who prefer to do things differently, much to the chagrin of the fans.
Konami and Kojima’s issues reflect a similar instance between Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune and Capcom. While Inafune dreamed of creating a Mega Man Legends 3 , he expressed similar feelings of discontent with Capcom as Kojima felt with Konami. If history repeats, as it tends to do, Kojima, much like Inafune, will be too busy dealing with his new passion projects, and the publishers will continue to profit off of these beloved properties – or not use them at all (still waiting on a real Mega Man, Capcom).
These are the things to consider should this petition reach either side’s eyeballs. Unless Kojima and Konami can set aside their differences – differences that were apparently great enough to burn professional bridges – Silent Hills will never come to fruition, and all of the questions that P.T. raised will remain unanswered. However, despite the negativity (I prefer to think of them as realistic) implications of this editorial, I encourage you to not give up hope. Konami will create another Silent Hill with mixed critical reception, and Kojima will most likely never stop developing video games. Who knows? Maybe he’ll create his equivalent to Mighty No. 9 , or perhaps something new and unique?