Something quite odd is happening over at Konami, and it involves the systematic removal of any and all Kojima Productions branding. Now, Hideo Kojima is a mischievous pixie when it comes to PR tricks, but this seems like more than that.
The old Kojima Productions site now redirects to a general Metal Gear Solid site. Meanwhile, the official Kojima Productions twitter now points to a new place to follow the latest Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain news.
— Kojima Pro Live (@Kojima_Pro_Live) March 19, 2015
In addition to that, if you go and look at the array of Metal Gear Solid box art in the gallery on Konami’s page, you may notice something missing.
Yep, none of them say “A Hideo Kojima Game” on them any more. Nor does Kojima Productions appear anywhere (when it definitely used to.) So that’s all quite strange.
As well as all of that (as spotted at Reddit, which sparked this whole thing off,) it seems as if Hideo Kojima will no longer be an executive at Konami in the near future. The executive reshuffle will take place on, well, 1 April. That might be significant, or it might just be coincidence.
If Kojima has the clout to pull this off as an April Fool’s gag then I can only applaud his influence.
Konami, for their part, are just putting out mundane PR statements for the time being: “As we have already announced, we are shifting our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business. Konami Digital Entertainment (including Mr. Kojima), will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products. Please look forward to future announcements.”
So, maybe just some corporate restructuring that happens to entirely remove the Kojima brand from everything? I can’t imagine he’d be very happy about that, or that the word ‘Konami’ carries more weight on a game box than ‘Kojima Productions.’
Hopefully Konami aren’t planning to go full Stalin and remove him from photographs too.
Update: Gamespot claims to have spoken to one of those ever-exciting anonymous sources within the Kojima Productions studio. According to this source, power struggles between Kojima Productions and Konami have resulted in a major falling out and the restructuring changes detailed above. Kojima and his team are effectively working as contractors within the company now, and are expected to leave once Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is complete and released.