hideo kojima

Konami is turning into a crazy Orwellian place to work.
Via Kotaku
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Even if you hate where you work, count your lucky stars that you don't work for Konami.

A report from the Japanese outlet Nikkei recently found out some terrible employment practices from the legacy video game company behind some enormous titles like the Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill franchises. Kotaku kindly translated it for our English consumption.

Nikkei's report alleges that the culture at the corporation's video game division, famous for its console games, worsened in around 2010 when a mobile title called Dragon Collection became a smash hit. As a social game for phones, development costs were low and profit returns were huge. Not long after, the report says, Konami's corporate bosses shifted the company's focus away from traditional, hardcore games and towards cheaper, and potentially more lucrative social titles.



The allegations from the report cover some of the following crazy details:

  • The studio behind the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V use computers allegedly not connected to the internet and are only able to send internal messages.


  • Employees are monitored during their lunch break with time cards and if they take too long, their names are announced to the whole company.


  • There are cameras in the office not for security, but rather to monitor the movements of the company's employees.


  • Most Konami employees don't have their own permanent company email addresses, instead are given a randomized one that changes every few months.


  • If game developers aren't thought to be useful at that time, they are reassigned to jobs as security guards, cleaners or in pachinko machine factories.


  • The report describes one former employee who announced leaving the company on Facebook and then all the fellow employees who "liked" the status were reassigned into new jobs within the company.



CRAZY, right?

And it sounds like it's at least partly true from game journalists in the know.



Konami has run into a swath of recent fan turmoil. First by systematically removing Metal Gear Solid mastermind Hideo Kojima from having anything to do with the company. And second, by ending the Guillermo Del Toro revamp of the Silent Hill series after the well-received P.T.demo.

Many speculate that Kojima is trying to focus on its less costly business endeavors like it's chain of fitness centers and its many pachinko machines.

Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima still want to collaborate.
Via IGN
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To be honest, we're still not over the death of the Guillermo del Toro and Hideo Kojima's Silent Hills game that was all set to be the full realization of the horrific nightmare fuel that was P.T.

However, all may not be lost.

IGN posted an interview with del Toro that hinted a the possibility of future collaborations.

[D]el Toro said, "I love working with Kojima-san. We are still in touch. We are still friends and working into doing something together, but that's not going to be [Silent Hills]."

Guillermo del Toro also detailed a bit about what Silent Hills -- though still very early in the development process -- could have been.

"We were in the planning stages, and it's a shame it's not going to happen," del Toro said. "We were talking about really pushing the boundaries of the new consoles, and making the game really mess with your head. One of the great moments in Metal Gear [Solid] was Psycho Mantis. The idea that a game can actually interact with you, and stuff like that."



You really should not count these horror chickens before they hatch. Del Toro famously packs his future schedule extremely tight and he seems to like to load up on very exciting-sounding projects that have the tendency to fizzle out in a puff of industry blockage.

Currently, he's supposed to be directing a Frankenstein reboot, Pacific Rim 2 (YES!), and there's been a continuous swirl of rumor concerning a possible Hellboy 3.

So, you can get excited, just please treat those emotions with caution.

video-game-coverage-hideo-kojima
Via neogaf
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No doubt, the Fox Engine that was behind powering Metal Gear Solid V, was an impressive feat, albeit a long time coming...

However, for Kojima's upcoming PS4 game he won't be revisiting the game engine drawing board. 

“I honestly think it’s better to make your own engine and tools,” Kojima was quoted saying at the Nordic Game 2016 festival (via IGN and NeoGAF). “However, since I want people to play this first title as soon as possible, we’re going to use a third-party engine, tune it for our needs, and create with that.”
video game news kojima leaving konami
Via Konami
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Rumors have been floating around that Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is leaving Konami, after he said he's done with the series, and the brand is attempting to minimalize the appearance of his name on the latest Metal Gear Solid game:



Kojima's games typically feature heavy branding as "A Hideo Kojima Game," but advertisements of The Phantom Pain have recently been changed to remove that branding.  Additionally, news has surfaced that Kojima will no longer be an executive at Konami as of April 1st.  Though they haven't explicitly stated he's leaving the company, Konami released the following statement that all but confims it:

To Customers,

Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.

The latest title in the METAL GEAR series,“METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.

Hideo Kojima stated, "I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!"

In addition, KONAMI will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” 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 new “METAL GEAR”.

We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.


hideo-kojima-video-game-coverage-new-death-stranding-discovery
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As spotted by constablegrimes, if you go ahead and play both trailers side-by side (which is possible through YouTube Doubler) you'll quickly note that the baby originally held by Crying Norman Reedus transports itself into the hands of Guillermo del Toro in the other trailer, at the exact same moment.



What the heck is happening?

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Not really sure what we just watched, but at a certain point, does it really matter? Granted, if you asked me whether I expected the trailer to open on a shot of Norman Reedus waking up naked, encircled by dead fish, I'd have said 'oh f**k no.' But hey, here we are. Kojima definitely delivered on the shock value.

Now it's a matter of figuring out exactly where the direction of this game is headed...at least the reactions that are rolling in in waves right now are all highly entertaining.





@ChrisKRU1991

@briangaar

@theCarrieNugent

@zeekindustries

fired konami kojima hideo kojima Video Game Coverage - 8475715840
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So, it would seem Burke is adamant in her claim Kojima was fired by Konami execs, but this morning a response from Konami came in to Videogamer.com

Via Videogamer.com:

A Konami representative has denied Burke's claims, telling VideoGamer.com that the suggestion Kojima has been fired is "categorically incorrect".

With no easy answers out there at the moment, it looks like this whole debacle will continue to be shrouded in mystery. Just like an episode of the X-Files.

hideo-kojima-reveals-full-image-character-ludens-productions-mascot
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Kojima pretty much blew minds worldwide when he offered up the first full-body look at Ludens on Twitter today. Kojima describes Luden as the 'icon of Kojima Productions' and that Ludens sports an 'extra-vehicular activity (EVA) creative suit'.

"We'll deliver THE NEW PLAY in THE NEW FUTURE with the cutting-edge equipment, technology, & the frontier spirit," Kojima said when talking about his studio's goals on Twitter earlier.

Here's a bigger yet look at Ludens:

video-game-news-normas-reedus-confirms-cancellation-of-silent-hills
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If it seemed like a collaboration between Hideo Kojima, Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus on a dynasty horror franchise seemed to good to be true, it looks like you were right. As it becomes more apparent that Kojima is splitting ways with Konami, the projects he's been involved in, especially Silent Hills, seem to be closer and closer to the chopping block.

In recent days both Del Toro and Reedus have come forward to confirm the bad news for Silent Hill fans.



P.T. the playable teaser and viral marketing campaign for Silent Hills was released at Gamescon and started a buzz around the title with its reliance on atmospheric tone for fear, rather than traditional video game jump scares. While the team behind P.T. thought it would take weeks to unravel all of their esoteric puzzles, Twitch streamers uncovered the secret cinematic trailer behind it within a day of its release.



To make matters worse, P.T. will be leaving the Playstation Store on Wednesday April, 29th, so if you haven't played it yet, now may be your last chance. Hopefully Kojima and Del Toro can come together when everything settles down, and the project can be re-opened.

norman-reedus-trolls-konami-after-hideo-kojimas-new-death-stranding-trailer
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Mere hours after the widely well-received trailer reveal from Hideo Kojima for his new game Death Stranding, Norman Reedus took to Instagram to lay down an extra dash of hurt directly intended for Konami. 

Konami and Kojima ended their professional working relationship with one another just after Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain came out last year. Their relationship got so bad that Kojima ended up being prevented entrance from The Game Awards last year, which still has some people pretty dang riled up. Reedus no doubt managed to get a strong final word in on the matter...

kojima-productions-logo-secret-surfaces-photoshop-ideas-galore
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Last December what is now being revealed as the mere first part of the new Kojima Productions logo was revealed--see armor/skull picture. Well in a recent interview with Famitsu, Kojima said "this logo has a secret. It has a full body, a really cool full body. We're planning on putting out a figure version of it."

Kojima then went on to joke, “Couldn’t someone make like an anime or something with this character?”

For now though, fan art like artist Jarold Sng's will have to suffice.



Who's down for a lil photoshop contest though? Let's see what those sick 'n twistedly creative minds can dream up...