‘Metal Gear Solid’ To Continue With New Team, Kojima Out

The shakeup at Konami has resulted in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain being the last for legendary game designer Hideo Kojima. That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the franchise once the game is released on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC this September. The publisher issued a statement Friday making clear it intends to keep the series running.

Konami issued the statement in response to reports of the shakeup that is pushing out Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions. It opens by noting that Metal Gear Solid V is still planned to be released on September 1, 2015 and that Kojima will remain involved in its development.

“In addition, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following [‘Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’],” the statement added. “We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.”

“As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop a new METAL GEAR title,” the publisher repeated to make it doubly clear.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4, Xbox One, PC)Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

While the statement initially makes it sound like there’s a chance that Kojima could be involved in future Metal Gear titles, Konami discreetly closes the door on that possibility without explicitly stating it by putting out an “audition” offer

“We will be conducting auditions for main staff to lead the development,” the statement said, making clear that the next Metal Gear game will be developed by an all new team. “Interested parties are encouraged to contact us to via the recruitment page of the KONAMI official website.”

For his part, Kojima has not issued any statements yet on Metal Gear Solid V, the future of the franchise, or his own plans via his Twitter account or elsewhere. A GameSpot report on the matter yesterday said that Kojima told his team they “have to be one and make a good game for fans,” according to an anonymous source.

Kojima previously stated that Metal Gear Solid V is “closing the loop” on the saga and it is the “last Metal Gear” in his opinion. Whether fans of the series agree with him remains to be seen. It will be interesting to see the reaction from the gaming community to a new title without him at the helm.

We’ve seen something similar already when the Halo franchise moved from Bungie to 343 Industries. It’s not a direct one-to-one correlation, but the transition was filled with huge amounts of skepticism leading into Halo 4. That the game didn’t live up to expectations didn’t help the matter either.

What do you think of the shakeup at Konami and its effects on the Metal Gear franchise? Sound off in the comments below.

[Images via Metal Gear Solid V]