There’s an awful lot of craziness surrounding Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima and Konami these past couple of days but, for those of you who were worried that the series might not continue following this year’s launch of The Phantom Pain, the publisher has made assurances that Snake and Co. will keep on moving forward no matter what happens involving the development team.

In case you missed all of the hubbub up until this point, Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima’s name, as well as his studio at Kojima Productions, was systematically removed from all Metal Gear game listings and media distributed by Konami throughout the day Wednesday. This led to all sorts of wild speculation that Kojima was leaving the publisher, dissolving his studio or being ousted against his will.

Of course, this being the games industry and all, nobody wanted to be all that forthcoming with any actual information about the changes. It’s not uncommon in this industry for something like this to occur and then all parties involved simply stare at the masses with a blank face and pretend that they have no idea what’s actually happening. It’s frustrating as hell and only causes the problem to worsen as people start to rely on conjecture and “unnamed sources close to the matter” for details.

It’s taken a full day to squeeze anything about the incident out of Konami but, even following they’re recent statement, it’s hard to guess what’s actually going on behind the scenes.

According to the release, Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain is still planned to hit store shelves Stateside on Sept. 1, so go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief if that was the only thing you were really worried about in this whole clustermug.

“Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout,” continues the announcement. “In addition, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will continue to develop top-quality content in the Metal Gear series following MGS: TPP…As the next step in the series, Konami has already resolved to develop a new Metal Gear title.”

The announcement goes on to state that Konami will be conducting auditions for main staff to lead the development of this mysterious new Metal Gear game, giving more weight to the rumors that Kojima and his team are off the project without directly stating it.

Based on this, it sounds like Konami wanted to make yet another MGS game and Kojima, who has stated many times that he would like to step away from the series or see it wrap up, wasn’t too keen on the idea. If that’s the case, though, what sense does it make to start erasing the man and his team from all previous Metal Gear games, including the one they’ve got coming out in just a few months?

What this means for Kojima and his studio remains unclear. It also throws into question the team’s future Silent Hill project, which was being created with the help of dark fantasy mastermind, Guillermo del Toro.

What we (supposedly) know for sure is this: 1) The Phantom Pain will release in September, though Konami may pretend that it materialized out of thin air rather than give credit to Kojima or his development team. 2) Another Metal Gear game is coming, though Kojima Productions likely won’t be involved. 3) The games industry is as street-rat insane as it has ever been.

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