Konami's symbolic erasure of Hideo Kojima and his studio now includes the final box art for what will likely be the last game he makes for them.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain bears no logo of Kojima Productions, the game's developing studio. It also does not say "A Hideo Kojima Game." Earlier versions of the packshot included both. NeoGAF spied the official, final box art had been uploaded yesterday and noted the differences.
In March, Konami removed mention of Kojima and the studio from the official Metal Gear Solid website and marketing materials for existing games in the series. The company then canceled outright another Kojima game, Silent Hills, taking two days to confirm that news.
Konami's behavior, particularly with regard to Kojima, has led many to speculate it is getting out of console gaming altogether. In May, Konami apologized to its longtime customers for the anxiety it had caused, saying the changes were part of an internal reorganization. The company said that the Metal Gear and Silent Hill franchises "are also extremely important to Konami," but it was not in a position to say how those series would be developed in the future.
This weekend, the Japanese voice actor for Metal Gear Solid's lead role, Solid Snake, said Kojima Productions had been disbanded. Konami has made no comment in reply to that. In fact, the only official mention it has made of its relationship with Kojima, a 29-year veteran, or his in-house studio, came in March, was a vague assurance that he and Konami Digital Entertainment "will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products."
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain launches Sept. 1 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Polygon previewed the game at E3 2015, saying it feels like "the end of an era."