During last year’s Tokyo Game Show, Hideo Kojima commented on Metal Gear Survive. Respected Japanese news outlet Nikkei now has some of the alleged drama that surrounds that.
When asked about Metal Gear Survive at a 2016 TGS stage event, Kojima replied, “I know absolutely nothing about it,” Kojima said. “That’s because it’s totally unrelated to me, right? Um, how should I put this? Well, for me, Metal [Gear] is espionage with political fiction. Right? So, because of that, there’s no reason that zombies would show up.”
Metal Gear Survive was the first post-Kojima Metal Gear that Konami announced after his departure in late 2015. Some after Kojima’s comments appeared online, video clips of the event began vanishing from the internet.
According to Nikkei (via My Game News Flash), Konami allegedly sent a letter addressed to Kojima last fall. Nikkei reports it stated, “You are unfairly sullying the reputation of our company.” Know that it is unusual in corporate Japan for people to speak so openly about a former employer or its products.
Nikkei adds that the way the TGS crowd laughed probably rubbed Konami the wrong way. The backdrop Nikkei gives is that there was so disagreement over the compensation agreement between Kojima and Konami. Talks had broken down, it seems, and Konami was allegedly refusing to pay one part. The company, however, told Nikkei, it was paying appropriately. Kojima Production gave Nikkei a “no comment.”
It doesn’t end there, it seems. Kojima Productions, Nikkei reports, is supposedly having trouble joining the Kanto IT Software Health Insurance Association with its application apparently being refused. Over 7,000 companies are part of this association, which offers discounted health insurance to tech industry workers as well as hotel, restaurant, and gym discounts. Konami is reportedly a big player in this association, with its sports clubs participating in the program. According to Nikkei, the Kanto IT Software Health Insurance Association said, “We are unable to comment on this issue.”
The Nikkei article also states that Konami has told large game companies to be careful about hiring former Konami employees and Japanese TV stations to disregard them. What’s more, it’s even said that ex-employees are not supposed to refer to themselves as “Formerly of Konami” in their new work when publicly discussing their career history.
Kotaku has reached out to Kojima Productions and Konami for comment prior to publication, but has yet to hear back from either.