UPDATE: Konami has released a full statement that skirts around earlier rumors of Hideo Kojima's departure, although they did confirm two things. Hideo Kojima isn't leaving the company before Metal Gear Solid 5's upcoming release date, and Konami will continue on with a new chapter in the Metal Gear franchise without its creator or his team. In fact, they are calling for talent outside the company to be involved in the new studio. This follows along with Kojima's announcement from GDC that The Phantom Pain would be his last entry in the franchise. TechRaptor will stay on this story and report if any more facts arise. The original article about the rumors is in full below.
Rumors flew across the Internet this morning as Konami made several moves that would seem to indicate that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima was stepping down from his roles at the company. It began with a release on Konami's official business site that made no mention of Kojima's previous role in the company as an executive. This shift would occur on April 1st, which is traditionally the start of the new fiscal quarter for the company. Around the same time, it was discovered that Konami tweeted out from the Kojima Productions Twitter that they were moving accounts to a more generic Metal Gear themed name. These moves lead to Metal Gear fans convening at NeoGAF to do some additional digging.
As word started to get out, Konami was quick to issue a statement to the press outlets, stating that "Konami Digital Entertainment, including Mr. Kojima, will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products." This statement alone doesn't explain why Konami's official site has altered MGS box art to remove the phrase "A Hideo Kojima Game", or why Kojima Productions in California has been repositioned as a Konami branded company and the Kojima Productions logo is being slowly but surely erased from official channels. The former official website of the developer now redirects to a generic Metal Gear Solid portal.
At the current time, it is unclear whether Kojima is actually leaving the company or just stepping back into a more creative role. What is clear is that Kojima Productions is no more, joining a growing list of layoffs and closings from the Japanese publisher. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is due out later this year, and Kojima was also set to be heavily involved in development in the newest Silent Hill game according to last year's P.T.
What's your take on the situation? What would a Kojima-less Metal Gear Solid game even look like? Sound off below in the comments and check back as we continue to update this developing story.