Update: Konami has released a statement to Polygon, where they confirmed the closure of the studio once known as Kojima Productions Los Angeles, and then known as Konami Los Angeles Studio after Kojima’s name was stripped from everything among various issues leading up to Metal Gear Solid 5‘s launch. Eurogamer was never replied to after being the first to report on the story.
The statement reads as follows:
Konami has made the decision to close its Los Angeles Studio, effective immediately, due to the product development resources being restructured into a more centralized unit.
This facility contributed to the recent Metal Gear Solid games. Konami will continue its operations to support all Metal Gear Solid titles, including the recently launched Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Online. Metal Gear Online is still scheduled to release for PC Steam in January 2016.
The statement hints at the theme that Metal Gear will continue to receive new titles even with Kojima gone as Konami had previously stated and the continuing centralization of all of Konami’s development.
Original Story: In the wake of Hideo Kojima en his Kojima Productions studio getting the axe, a rumor has surfaced that Konami has also disbanded the studio responsible for the development of Metal Gear Online, the online component to the recently releases Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
BREAKING: Rumor tells me that Konami has shut down the Kojima Productions LA studio, taking with it approx 35 jobs, just before Xmas.
— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) November 3, 2015
Eurogamer reports that the LA-based studio, which started out in 2013 as an extension to Kojima Productions and got rebranded to Konami Los Angeles Studios after the big Konami rebrand earlier this year, helped the Japanese game maker with the development of Metal Gear Solid V and the multiplayer component Metal Gear Online. Development of Metal Gear Online was transferred to Konami’s Japanese studio slightly before the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The people working at Konami Los Angeles didn’t get a lot of time to prepare for their lay off, with employees being notified of the impending changes only yesterday.
The Japanese studio recently updated the online multiplayer with a big patch, making adjustments to the game’s matchmaking system as well as a host of other quality of life tweaks. The patch notes can be found here.
The development and subsequent release of Kojima’s last entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise has been problematic at best, resulting in Kojima’s departure from the Japanese software and hardware giant on October 9th. Konami recently denied that Kojima has departed from the company, stating that Kojima and the employees at Kojima Productions are “taking a long time off from work”. The online component to the open-world espionage thriller also received its fair share scrutiny due to the game’s strange FOB insurance microtransaction options that allow players to ensure their in game base by paying real money to Konami.
Eurogamer has reached out to Konami for an official comment, but the company has yet to respond. If and when Konami decides to send them a reply, we will update this post.