In what appears to be a poignant nadir to several months of rumours and speculation, Kojima Production’s logo has been removed from the final box art for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Earlier reports had suggested the studio’s closure, with a long string of comments from staff pointing towards a falling out between Hideo Kojima and Konami’s upper management.
In March, GameSpot revealed that the studio were working as contractors to finish the game, rather than permanent employees. This appeared to be corroborated in the same month as Konami removed both the Kojima Productions logo and ‘A Hideo Kojima Game’ from the promotional material for The Phantom Pain, and retroactively for Ground Zeroes – prompting a backlash from fans. Today’s news is confirmation, however, as both slip from the game’s website and the final box art.
Just a few days ago, Gematsu reported the Japanese voice actor for Snake, Akio Otsuka’s sincere and moving goodbye to Kojima Productions.
コジプロは解散させられてしまったが、チームの奮闘により作品はどうやらほぼ完成となった。掛け値なしに最高の傑作となった筈！早く「待たせたな」と言いたくて仕方ない(笑)これが最期になったとしとも…MGS は 不滅 です！
— 大塚 明夫 (@AkioOtsuka) July 10, 2015
This translates as, “Kojima Productions was forced to disband, but it appears that the work that the team has been putting their utmost effort into is nearly complete. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I expect it will become their greatest masterpiece. I couldn’t help it. I just wanted to say ‘Kept you waiting, huh?’ (Laughs.) But even if this is the end, Metal Gear Solid is immortal!” (Thanks to Gematsu for the translation)
What this means for the future of the series, and indeed support for the incoming title is unknown, but for all intents and purposes, this time it might really be Kojima’s last Metal Gear.
Source: Twitter/Metal Gear Official Site