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Will the next Metal Gear Solid game be Kojima’s last?

Rumours are circulating that Hideo Kojima, the mind behind the Metal Gear Solid series, might be parting ways with the games’ publisher.

Initially, forum users (via ArsTechnica) noticed that Kojima is no longer listed as an executive on Konami’s corporate page.

Then Kojima Productions’ Twitter account began to point users towards a new Metal Gear Solid Twitter page free from Kojima branding.

In fact, many of the official web pages surrounding Kojima’s Konami games have had references to Kojima Productions completely wiped without explanation.

GameSpot cites sources as suggesting Kojima productions has fallen out with Konami, which has resulted in ‘senior staff at the studio being given restricted access to corporate internet, emails, and phone calls’.

The report goes on to reveal that Kojami Studios will disband after Metal gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launches later this year.

“After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December,” the source was reported as saying.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the next MGS game to launch, and is due for release on September 1, 2015.

The official Metal Gear Twitter posted the following earlier today: “Despite rumours, MGSV:TPP-written, designed, directed & produced by Mr. Kojima is still on track. The team’s hard at work. Pls support them!”

A statement also posted today on the Konami website reassured fans of the MGS series that Kojima would remain involved with TPP.

Kojima tweet

Kojima’s not-so-cryptic tweet…

The statement read: “The latest title in the Metal Gear series…will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1.”

It continued: “Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.”

Konami then went on to explain how the company ‘has already resolved’ to produce a new Metal Gear title, and will be interviewing for main staff ‘to lead the development’.

The latter clause implies Kojima might not be involved with the next iteration of MGS.

Related: Best Games of 2015

Hideo Kojima has also clued his departure on Twitter twice. The first is an MGS screenshot of a helicopter captioned with the text ‘heading off’. The second was a picture of a sausage – which seems to have been deleted – captioned with the text ‘farewell sausage’ (via PCGamer).

He also spoke out earlier this month, saying that completing TPP would be ‘finally closing the loop on that saga’.

He added: “In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. Even if the Metal Gear franchise continues, to me, this is the last Metal Gear.”

Kojima first joined Konami in 1986 as a game designer, eventually leading the way with the entire Metal Gear Solid series.

Neither he nor Konami have officially confirmed whether the rumours of Kojima’s departure after the next MGS game are true.

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