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Kojima, Konami and Metal Gear's bizarre year

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Soaring heights, unprecedented lows

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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for Metal Gear. Charles Dickens wrote that (we think), and he was right: 2015 was a strange year for Hideo Kojima, his employer Konami and the Metal Gear franchise.

Throughout 2015, there were whispers and rumors that things had gone awry between the man who created the stealthy franchise and the company where he'd worked for three decades. It was difficult to see those rumors reflected when Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain arrived in September to critical acclaim. The game even earned a top spot in Polygon's 2015 Games of the Year list.

But by mid-December, we learned the truth: Kojima and Konami were no longer partners. What the heck happened?

Senior reporter Samit Sarkar dove into years of news stories to recount the relationship's devolution. And today, he's our very special guest on an episode of our Minimap podcast, where he shares his knowledge about the bitter breakup.

Welcome to Polygon Minimap: Worldmap Edition, a roundtable discussion about the most interesting stories in gaming, entertainment and pop culture. Press play below to hear Samit and your host Dave Tach trace the relationship back decades and make a long and complicated story easier to understand.

To keep up with Minimap, you can subscribe with iTunes or click the buttons beneath the episode embedded above. If you like to control your MP3s, you can download each episode of Polygon's daily audio tour through the world of video games, related technologies and pop culture favorites like comics, movies and TV with a button click above, too.

Minimap also lives at its own hub on Polygon, where you can listen to months of episodes that cover the most interesting news of each day.

If you're looking for more guest-filled Worldmap Edition discussions, don't miss our four-part Star Wars series (including a trilogy on The Force Awakens), our discussion of the year in sports gaming with Owen Good, and our biggest panel yet, which tries to figure out why so many people play so much Destiny.

We'll wrap up our series of Worldmap Editions looking back on the most interesting stories of 2015 this week, when reporter Allegra Frank joins us to talk about the strange game she played the most last year but (spoiler alert) really winds up talking about why video games can mean so much to each of us.