Gamespot has reported that Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series, is expected to leave Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. An anonymous informer within Konami revealed that internal power struggles between the company and Kojima’s own organisation (Kojima Productions) have caused Konami to change the employment status of many of high-ranking Kojima staff. These staff members (including Hideo Kojima) now effectively work as contractors and not permanent employees.
Kojima’s departure from the company will bring and a thirty year working relationship to an end. However, this decision didn’t exactly come out of nowhere.
In mid-march, Konami began to remove mention of Kojima and his company from the branding of the Metal Gear Solid website and changed the name of their Los Angeles studio from Kojima Productions Los Angeles to Konami Los Angeles Studio. This coupled with the announcement of new executive positions within Konami fuelled suspicion about the Kojima’s eventual departure.
This leaves the future of Metal Gear Solid up in the air. Kojima and Konami released a joint statement in which the creator reassured that he was still “100 percent involved and will continue working on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.” Additionally, Konami has begun hiring for a new Metal Gear game. However, considering Kojima stated earlier in March that with Phantom Pain he is “closing the loop,” on the Metal Gear saga, it is unsure how much contribution the creator will have in the series’ future.
Sources: Gamespot, Polygon