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Hideo Kojima says he's still '100 percent involved' in completing Metal Gear Solid 5

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Konami and Kojima Productions head Hideo Kojima published a joint statement today saying that the next game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, will be released on schedule and that Kojima is still involved in its creation.

"I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain," Kojima said. "I'm determined to make it the greatest game I've directed to date. Don't miss it!"

Konami said Kojima will "remain involved throughout" the game's development, but did not address his employment status with the company.

Konami reiterated that it will continue to "develop and distribute top-quality content" in the Metal Gear series after the release of The Phantom Pain. Earlier today, the company's Japanese branch announced it was developing new Metal Gear games and was hiring staff to lead development of those titles.

Earlier this week, Konami removed mention of Kojima and Kojima Productions from its Metal Gear website and games. Kojima's studio, Kojima Productions Los Angeles, has been renamed Konami Los Angeles Studio, and various Kojima Productions accounts have been redirected to official Metal Gear accounts. Those events lead to speculation about Kojima's employment at Konami. GameSpot reported that Konami and Kojima Productions had a falling out, and Kojima could leave the company sometime this year, after The Phantom Pain's release.

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is slated to launch this September on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Polygon Video archive: Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay video and review from E3 (2014)