Beloved Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima has officially left Japanese game publisher Konami as of December 15 and is in talks to form a new studio, according to a report from Japanese business journal Nikkei. Kojima is currently in talks with Sony to continue publishing games on the PlayStation platform.
While the reasons behind Kojima's departure haven't been revealed, the New Yorker suspected in October that it's due to "tectonic changes in the business," namely an exodus of consumers flocking to mobile games over consoles and desktops. That suspicion pretty much checks out following the cancellation of Silent Hills, Kojima's horror game collaboration with director Guillermo del Toro, in April. Since then, fans have been trying to preserve what scraps of it were left.
On September 1, Kojima, who had been with Konami since 1968, had released his last game with the company, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The game reportedly cost over $80 million and took around four years to develop, which makes it the epitome of an AAA title. At the same time, it helped the company nearly double its profits compared to last year.
And while not all hope is lost for AAA Japanese games, Kojima's departure could be a disheartening blow for those looking to make them. If losing costly big-title game developers becomes a trend, it may not bode well for game companies that are still taking years and spending millions of dollars to release high-production titles. Will the payout cover the years of investment? We're praying for you, Final Fantasy XV.