Konami Closes Kojima Productions Los Angeles Studio
posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Video game developer and publisher Konami announced in an email to video games website Polygon on Tuesday that the company has closed its Konami Los Angeles Studio, formerly named Kojima Productions Los Angeles.
The statement reads:
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.
Kojima Productions Los Angeles opened in 2013, and was renamed to Konami Los Angeles Studio, after Konami restructured in March. The studio worked on both Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and also developed Metal Gear Online, the multiplayer component of the Metal Gear V series.
A report by The New Yorker last month claimed that Metal Gear Solid series creator Hideo Kojima had left the Konami Los Angeles Studio on October 9, after a farewell ceremony. Konami later denied the report, saying that at the time, Kojima was taking "an extended vacation."
The New Yorker also reported that Kojima's contract and non-compete clause with Konami will expire in December, after which he can make games at another studio.
An anonymous source within Konami claimed in March that Kojima would leave Konami after completing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, with Kojima's contract with Konami allegedly ending in December. Konami stated later that same month that Kojima Productions and other internal companies have had their names changed as part of Konami's restructuring.
The phrase "A Hideo Kojima Game" was also removed from the game titles on Konami America's Metal Gear Solid page and when Konami restructured in March, Kojima was no longer listed as the "Executive Content Officer" of Konami.
Kojima previously stated that he will consider Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as the last Metal Gear Solid title. However, Konami UK Community Manager Graham Day stated in an interview in September that "the Metal Gear brand will continue," even without Kojima.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain shipped for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC in the United States and Europe on September 1, followed by Japan on September 2. Metal Gear Online, the game's online multiplayer component, became available for free for users of the game's console versions on October 6, and will be available for owners of the game's PC version in January.