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Report: Konami wrapping up AAA production, aside from PES

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Konami is winding down development on all AAA game production, with the exception of the Pro Evolution Soccer series, according to French site Gameblog.

The publication claims that all console projects have been either stopped or canceled. The news comes from the same site in the wake of rumors of Fox Engine technology director Julien Merceron departing the company; Eurogamer has apparently independently verified both reports. We've reached out to Konami for comment and will update accordingly.

Konami has been a company of massive change as of late, beginning with rumors of Hideo Kojima's departure, its cancelation of Silent Hills and the removal of its playable teaser, P.T., from the PlayStation Store, and a major internal restructuring. In May, new CEO Hideki Hayakawa told Nikkei Trendy Net that mobile is the platform that is "always closest to us ... mobile is where the future of gaming lies." In a followup from Konami, however, the company said it would continue to pursue console and PC games.

"Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms; across not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times," Konami said in a letter provided to Polygon.

Gameblog's report suggests that Merceron leaving is related to Konami's focus on mobile.

In March, hiring listings for a new stealth-focused project were posted on Konami's site. A separate page added that the company "has resolved to embark on production of a new 'Metal Gear' series."

Konami released Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain on Sept. 1. According to a Nikkei profile released in August, which described Konami as an abhorrent workplace, The Phantom Pain was the final project before the company would shift to mobile games. The game's online component, Metal Gear Onlinelaunches in October for consoles and next year on PC.

The most recent title in the PES series, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016, launched Sept. 15 in North America. The company recently announced that it will release a new title in the Pawapuro series next spring for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. A mobile Pawapuro is present at TGS, along with Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and PES 2016.