Konami announced that it has shut down Kojima Productions Los Angeles, the studio responsible for the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Metal Gear Online will continue to operate, and an internal team at Konami in Japan will develop future updates and expansions following the closure.
Kojima Productions Los Angeles will close prior to the upcoming release of a PC version of Metal Gear Online, though Konami assures that the game will still launch next year as scheduled.
“Konami has made the decision to close its Los Angeles Studio, effective immediately, due to the product development resources being restructured into a more centralized unit,” Konami said in a statement issued to Polygon. “This facility contributed to the recent Metal Gear Solid games.
“Konami will continue its operations to support all Metal Gear Solid titles, including the recently launched Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Metal Gear Online. Metal Gear Online is still scheduled to release for PC Steam in January 2016.”
Established in 2013, Kojima Productions Los Angeles assisted Konami’s Japan-based subsidiary Kojima Productions in the development of Metal Gear Solid V and its multiplayer aspects. The studio was also rumored to be working on a Zone of the Enders sequel.
The studio’s closure is the latest in a series of decisions that distance Konami from Metal Gear Solid series director Hideo Kojima. Konami removed the auteur director’s name from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain‘s box art prior to its release, and the game’s official websites scrubbed all mentions of Kojima and his studio shortly afterward.
Konami also announced that it had canceled Silent Hills, a horror project developed in a collaboration between Kojima and film director Guillermo del Toro. The parting was so acrimonious that del Toro subsequently vowed to never work in the video games industry again.
Despite many recent decisions that suggest a company-wide shift away from traditional console development, Konami maintains that Kojima is still employed at the company, and is merely taking an extended vacation. With or without Kojima at the helm, Konami assures fans that it will continue its Metal Gear Solid series in the future.