There has been some serious beef between Hideo Kojima and Konami that managed to make it into the public's purview over the course of the past year. The seriousness of the matter escalated even further after Konami announced that they have closed down Kojima Productions in Los Angeles, California.
The western-based studio was supposed to be the bridge that linked the Japanese publisher with a western foothold for production efficiency and product growth. However, it appears as if after opening in 2013, Kojima Productions won't be fulfilling any historical feats as a Japanese studio on U.S., soil.
According to Polygon, the studio is no more. Konami released a statement to them saying...
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,
The news about Kojima Productions disbanding was actually made apparent before the Polygon was published. Long-time game developer George Broussard had made the comments known on Twitter, revealing that around 35 jobs had been axed and that this all occurred right before the holiday Christmas season.
As evident with the quote above from Konami, it looks as if the confirmation about the jobs being lost has come through.
This also makes it difficult to see how the future of Metal Gear will play out, especially given all the troubles they've had with the online portion of the game so early into the game's lifespan on the market.
Metal Gear Online recently went live for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 at the start of October of this year. The mode was quickly taken over by hackers on the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game, with Konami doing little to thwart the efforts. A similar fate also befell the FOB online mode for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Gamers have been complaining about the hackers and Konami's lack of security to deal with the issue since the game went live back in September.
Unfortunately, it looks like the team responsible for the upkeep of the game are being disbanded. It definitely leaves gamers to question exactly what will become of the PC version in January?
Rumors went wild that this will likely be the last Metal Gear Solid game made under the Konami label, and that games such as Castlevania, Suikoden and Zone of the Enders are likely no more. However, a community manager for Konami publicly shot down the rumors that the company was moving away from hardcore AAA titles.
A report earlier in the year by Nikkei had suggested that the company was leaving hardcore gaming behind to pursue pachinko machines and casinos. With Kojima Productions shutting down in L.A., it's hard to say that those rumors look false.