Konami denies report of Hideo Kojima leaving company

20 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

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Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has officially left video games publisher Konami, according to a report from The New Yorker, apparently confirming rumors earlier this year that the talismanic designer would be moving on from the Japanese company.The run-up to October 21, 2015—the day Marty and Doc Brown travel to in Back to the Future Part II—has seen anyone and everyone even tangentially related to the film getting in on the fun of celebrating the actual day of time-travel. The expression used in gaming circles is ‘on rails’ — referring of course to the gameplay which can only progress like a railway — in a single direction, down a single path with a single outcome.

The game, which takes place in mid-nineteen-eighties Afghanistan and Zaire, made a hundred and seventy-nine million dollars on its launch day, in September—more than the two highest-grossing films of the year so far (“Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Jurassic World”) combined. Except the author of the original story has tweeted a photo of what is alleged to be Kojima’s leaving do. ‘We’re not sure what kind of thing this was,’ said the Konami spokesperson when asked about it. ‘Because the development time for console games is so long and fatigues builds up, it’s common for employees to take extended periods of time of when development is finished.’ Konami’s bizarre attitude throughout this whole controversy has only added fuel to the rumours, but if it does turn out the Kojima is only having a couple of weeks off that’s going to be a plot twist on par with Metal Gear itself. Seeing as how the DeLorean Motor Company has been out of business for decades, the American automaker filled the video touting the Flux Capacitor as a limited-time feature option for its Focus and Fiesta models. His impending resignation had been rumored as early as March, but the fact of it remains startling—as much as if Shigeru Miyamoto, the originator of Donkey Kong and the Mario brothers, left Nintendo.

Officially nothing has ever been said anything about the constant stream of rumours surrounding the continued employment of Hideo Kojima, or Konami’s attitude towards making traditional games. There’s no confirmation that’s true, but the same source suggests that Kojima’s contract will allow him to be employed by rival companies starting from December. Mobile games, on the other hand, have been a major source of profit for the Japanese firm, with titles such as Dragon Collection and Sengoku Collection helping it increase net profits by almost 80 percent between 2011 and 2012 without requiring tortuous development periods. Although work on Phantom Pain is known to have been slower and more expensive than the company planned—a Nikkei report estimated the cost of development at more than eighty million dollars—Kojima’s instinct to hold off the game’s release until he was satisfied with its quality seems, by both critical and commercial standards, sound. The dates are really just details though, and especially given hints from Kojima himself, there now seems no question that he has, or is about to, cut his ties with Konami.

Konami has been unclear on its future plans, first indicating that it would continue to make MGS-style triple-A console games after the latest Metal Gear, before a report indicated in September that it was giving up on all development of its console titles apart from yearly sports series Pro Evolution Soccer. As such, some people within the video-game industry contend that his resignation was less a result of personal or artistic differences than of tectonic changes in the business—namely, the move away from console games and toward the domain of the mobile device. That shift began in 2007, prior to the launch of the iPhone, when the Japanese company GREE began to experiment with a new model for its online games. There can hardly be any games company in the world that wouldn’t want to employ him, but it’s also possible he’ll set up his own development studio. Saying anything more will reveal some important plot points (the game is full of cinematic moments anyway) so it’s best that you experience it yourself — preferably on an eighth generation console or high-end PC to take advantage of the increased resolution and better textures — Hitesh Raj Bhagat One of the major downsides of working on a laptop all day is that it can leave you with a sore neck and can lead to back problems in the long run.

A financial report from Mixi, the company behind Japan’s current top mobile game, Monster Strike, suggests that the company is expected to make around one and a half billion dollars per year from this single title in Japan alone. All they had left were legendary stories of their products, which are no longer relevant for either the technology or the market.” Hayakawa, who became president of Konami in April, acknowledged in an interview with Nikkei in May that “mobile is where the future of gaming lies.” The company claims that it is not abandoning console games entirely; as the sales of Phantom Pain attest, big-budget projects can still be profitable. At least, until the company decides to close us down.” The decline of major console games has been mirrored in smaller, less well-known titles, too. “The Japanese games with which most players are familiar have always been the outliers,” David McCarthy, of the Tokyo-based developer Cybird, told me. “But there has always been a huge iceberg of titles beneath the surface that Western gamers rarely glimpse.… The growing cost of console development, allied to a shrinking domestic market, have made these games increasingly unviable without international success.” It’s likely that, after Kojima’s non-compete clause expires, in December, he will find a new studio and continue making lavishly produced games. It detects your location when you first run the app (you can even choose a different location manually) and creates a free anonymous account — there’s no need to sign up for an account if you just want to browse for information. Although Western fans may mourn the loss, McCarthy doesn’t share their despondency. “Honestly, I am not so sure that any threat to yet another shouting, shooting game full of American grunts saving democracy from the wiles of dark-skinned terrorists is any great loss to the art,” he said.

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