With Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain raking in sales to the tune of five million copies, naturally publisher Konami is looking at creating a sixth installment.
There's just one little problem. With creator Hideo Kojima reportedly done with Metal Gear and having parted ways with Konami, reports are circulating today that Konami has abruptly shut down the studio known as Kojima Productions L.A. The shuttering of Kojima L.A. means that some 35 employees have suddenly found themselves without jobs.
The report about a potential Metal Gear Solid VI comes from Tokyo stock index Nikkei, where it was suggested that Kojima could still opt to be involved in the sixth game. But this is likely wishful thinking on Nikkei's part, given the bitter split between the two parties that saw Konami effectively excise everything Kojima was involved with, including the lamented Silent Hills.
Nikkei also quotes a Konami spokesperson as noting that "a large-scale investment will become necessary" to fund the next Metal Gear. Given the scope of the series and its incredible depth, a hefty budget is pretty much a given.
The news about Kojima Productions L.A. originated with 3D Realms' George Broussard, who tweeted the following late Monday night.
BREAKING: Rumor tells me that Konami has shut down the Kojima Productions LA studio, taking with it approx 35 jobs, just before Xmas.
— George Broussard (@georgeb3dr) November 3, 2015
The news was subsequently verified by Sony's Sam Thompson, though Konami has yet to issue a statement on the matter.
So should it go forward, Konami will have to hand off production of Metal Gear Solid VI to a different studio — very possibly one that's never been involved in the franchise before.