Guillermo del Toro Thinks “The B*****ds with the Money” Are Ruining Creativity in Games

Film director Guillermo del Toro, victim of two cancelled games, has taken a swipe at AAA game developers for stifling creativity. Speaking at the DICE Summit alongside Hideo Kojima, his former partner on the sadly canned Silent Hills, del Toro spoke onstage to Geoff Keighley about his previous frustrations at trying to craft a video game and his reluctance to return to the medium, adding that Kojima is the exception, and he’d work with him again at the drop of a hat.

“The storytellers look ahead to see what they can discover, and the money people look back […] That’s the safe route,” del Toro told Keighley. Creativity in game production is “only limited by the b*****ds with the money,” he said.

Keighley ask del Toro about a previous statement he made, swearing off video game development for good, to which he nodded, but added “Except with this man,” referring to Kojima. “I’ll do whatever the f**k he wants.”

Kojima, sat next to him, agreed, saying through a translator, “I don’t know what it is. It is probably going to be hell. It is probably going to be really tough. It is probably going to be a game or a movie. I don’t care, but we will do it.”

The whole talk can be viewed below:

https://youtu.be/DKw2JpLAHdw?t=4h45m43s

Hideo Kojima Teases His New Game

Metal Gear Solid auteur Hideo Kojima, fresh from his escape from the Konami sausage factory, appeared at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas yesterday (18th February) with his former Silent Hills partner, film director Guillermo del Toro. While at the summit, Kojima (seen above, referencing del Toro’s grotesque fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth) discussed his transition from Konami employee (though, never referring to the company directly, presumably due to the rumoured terms of his contract severance) to head of his own studio, Kojima Productions, while teasing details of his forthcoming game for Sony.

“I feel extremely free right now. I am trying to make a big game with a very small team. I am doing exactly what I want to do,” Kojima said onstage, though a translator. “I have no intention of changing anything in order make it sell more. I want to create something that I want to play.”

Kojima also held interviews with with Gamespot and Polygon during the DICE Summit, during which he made reference to the new game he is currently working on, and shared about the ordeal of making Silent Hills.

“I want to do something that gives a lot of freedom and interactivity. Like I did in the past, I want to make something that has a very strong, dramatic story,” Kojima told Gamespot. “Sony is supporting us to make a big game that’s edgy with a strong story that gives the player a lot of freedom, with new elements, and I don’t know if that’s possible. But we’ll see.”

In a sly dig at Konami, Kojima praised Sony for giving him the freedom to create the game that he wants to make. “[Sony] are not controlling what I’m doing at all; that was part of the conditions, and Sony was very respectful towards me and what I do. In that regard, it’s been very nice, and very pleasant,” he added.

Regarding the fractious production of Silent Hills, Kojima told Polygon he felt deceived by Konami. “Let’s say you’re thinking of climbing Mount Everest, but you start with Mount Fuji first. That goes well and it feels good. Then you’re preparing to climb Mount Everest and you’re not allowed to,” he said. “That doesn’t feel good.”

Hideo Kojima Reunited With Silent Hills Star Norman Reedus

Hideo Kojima, having escaped the clutches of the dastardly Konami, followed up his exhaustive world tour – which took him from JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot studio, to Sony’s Visual Arts Service Group for a bit of motion capture, and the Quantic Dream studio in Paris, France – with an impromptu meeting with Norman Reedus, the star-to-be of Kojima’s and Guillermo del Toro’s aborted Silent Hills.

The meeting of the two will, of course, spark fresh rumours that Reedus, Kojima, and del Toro are set to reunite to fill the gap left by Silent Hills’ cancellation, especially since Kojima has recently set up his own studio. The Silent Hill intellectual property – plus the Fox Engine that was used to produce P.T., the Silent Hills teaser – are both the intellectual property of Konami, so any team-up of the three would produce an entirely new game. If the reaction to P.T. is anything to go by, though, it would surely be well-received.

In an interview with IGN last year, following the cancellation of Silent Hills, del Toro expressed his desire to work with Kojima again. “I love working with Kojima-san,” he said. “We are still in touch. We are still friends and working into doing something together, but that’s not going to be [Silent Hills].”

“We were in the planning stages, and it’s a shame it’s not going to happen,” del Toro added, lamenting the lost game. “We were talking about really pushing the boundaries of the new consoles, and making the game really mess with your head. One of the great moments in Metal Gear [Solid] was Psycho Mantis. The idea that a game can actually interact with you, and stuff like that.”

Kojima and del Toro are set to appear together at DICE Hall of Fame Awards on 18th February. Maybe we’ll get more hints about a future collaboration of the Silent Hills alumni then.

Kojima Visits LittleBigPlanet Dev Media Molecule

Kojima is currently on a worldwide tour in order to search for the newest technology. So far we have seen him drop in for a visit to popular director JJ Abrams in order to discuss the new Kojima studios. Monday saw Kojima in London, dropping by Sony’s London Studio as well as Media Molecule, the developers behind LittleBigPlanet.

At the Sony London Studio, Kojima tried out a number of undisclosed PlayStation VR games, one of which is thought to be The London Heist. Kojima’s travelling partner, PS4 lead system architect Mark Cerny caught a snap of Kojima using the PlayStation VR. The background of the shot was blurred out due to containing part of the plan for the London Studio team’s next VR experience. Again, what Kojima saw at Media Molecule is also left up to speculation. One possibility is the Surrey studio’s upcoming PS4 title, Dreams, which allows players to sculpt complex character models using the Playstation Move.

What we do know for certain is what Kojima ate that day, the developer providing a number of shots of his cuisine haggis lunch at Media Molecule and his distinctly less exciting breakfast juice.

Where Kojima will show up next on his world trip is anyone’s guess, but I’m sure it will be full of his characteristically amusing tweets and perhaps more pictures of his meals. Stop back for more coverage when he makes his next appearance.

Guillermo del Toro to Honour Hideo Kojima at DICE Hall of Fame Awards

Metal Gear Solid auteur and recent Konami escapee Hideo Kojima has been named the twenty-first member of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame, and will be presented with the 2015 Hall of Fame award by writer/director Guillermo del Toro at the DICE Summit next month.

This is one awards ceremony that Kojima will have no problem attending: back in December, while Kojima was still under contract with Konami, his former employer blocked him from attending The Game Awards due to an on-going feud between the two parties, one that Kojima is contractually prohibited from discussing. Kojima officially left Konami two weeks later, launching his new, independent Kojima Productions game studio.

While still with Konami, Kojima was collaborating with del Toro on Silent Hills, the much-anticipated Silent Hill sequel, starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, that was canned following the release of the game’s stealth demo, P.T..

“Hideo Kojima’s career-defining works have shaped much of how the video game industry approaches cinematic storytelling and player engagement,” Martin Rae, President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, said. “As one of the most well-loved and well-respected designers of our time, it is a great honor for the Academy to induct him into our Hall of Fame. Hideo is a game creator whose eyes have always looked towards the future, and we look forward to his thoughts on the D.I.C.E. Summit stage.”

Image courtesy of International Business Times.

 

Proxy Trick Allows P.T. Download from PSN

While Hideo Kojima moves on to pastures new after severing his ties with Konami, a relic of his prior associations thought consigned to the virtual dustbin has been resurrected; P.T. (or Playable Teaser), the PlayStation 4 demo to Kojima’s aborted collaboration with Hollywood director Guillermo del Toro Silent Hills, was pulled from PlayStation Network during Kojima’s quiet feud with Konami, followed soon after by confirmation that the game was dead. It was assumed that P.T. had been removed from the servers entirely, but it seems only that access to download it was restricted.

How do we know this? Because an industrious user of Indonesian game site Gamexeon has found a method of downloading the demo from PSN. Want to find out more?

Disclaimer: We at eTeknix cannot vouch for the integrity of the following method. The evidence available suggests that it is successful and risk-free, but anyone who follows the instructions below does so at their own risk. Sony prohibits the use of third-party apps with its systems, so using this method may either void the warranty of your PlayStation 4, or result in some kind of PSN ban, though there is no history of Sony issuing such a ban. Also, as this method becomes public knowledge, sooner or later Sony and/or Konami will find a way to counter it. We cannot guarantee that, at the time of writing, this method still works.

How to download P.T. for PS4 (English version via Gamexeon user orangelupa):

On Windows PC:

On PS4:

  • Go to NETWORK settings.
  • Select CUSTOM, then keep choosing AUTO.
  • On PROXY screen, choose USE and type your proxy IP address with PORT 808.
  • Complete the network setting.

Download P.T. (Silent Hills) on PS4:

  • Go to DOWNLOAD notification.
  • If P.T. download error was there, press OPTIONS then DELETE (if its not there, you are OK).
  • Go to LIBRARY
  • Choose P.T. and DOWNLOAD.

Voila! Now you are re-downloading P.T. Have fun getting terrified!

Notes:

This app only works for US + EU P.T.

As you probably already guessed, this app was originally made in 2011 as a generic proxy. I already forgot how to make it, luckily I made it very modular so i can modify it to work for P.T. So it won’t get any Installer UI updates but I still can update its functions.

Konami Plans “Large-Scale Investment” For Next Metal Gear Solid Game

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, purportedly the last game in the series, is a hit, having sold five million copies worldwide [PDF]. Now, despite alienating its creator, closing his LA studio, and seeming more concerned with building Pachinko machines than games, Konami insists that it will make another Metal Gear Solid game, and that is won’t be afraid to spend a lot of money on it.

The creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima, has all but left Konami – though the company insists he’s merely “on vacation”, despite having a leaving party at the Kojima Productions offices – quietly seeing out his contract, which is said to expire in December, and has made it quite clear that The Phantom Pain is his Metal Gear swansong. Konami, however, knows a cash-cow when it sees one and, since it was all too happy to strip Kojima’s name from the boxart for MGS V, obviously thinks it can poop out another Metal Gear Solid game without the input of its auteur.

In the print edition of Japanese news outlet Nikkei (via 2Channel, and translated by Kotaku), Konami said, “When we start development [of the new Metal Gear Solid game], a large-scale investment will become necessary,” confirming previous statements that, “After the release of MGSV: TPP, Konami plans to also continue releasing titles in the Metal Gear series. We would like to offer our deep gratitude for your continued support of the Metal Gear series.”

While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a title in which Kojima had only a supervisory role, was moderately successful in its execution, do you think the Metal Gear series has a future? Would you buy a Kojima-less Metal Gear Solid game?

Kojima Calls MGSV Ending “A Blank Space” That “Won’t be Filled”

While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has garnered near-universal acclaim for its gameplay, ardent Metal Gear fans – myself included – were disappointed by a polarising conclusion and the lack of both a coherent story arc and the connective tissue that was expected to tie the modern Metal Gear Solid series to the Metal Gear games of the MSX.

Since the release of MGSV, rumours have pointed the finger at publisher Konami, blaming the company for forcing the game out before it was completed, supposedly evidenced by the excised Chapter 3 material. But, in the Japanese novelisation of the game, creator Hideo Kojima has not only taken responsibility for the “blank space” left by the game’s ending, but has revealed that it was intentional; a metaphor for the end of the series, and the absence of its hero.

In a translation courtesy of redditor _notanything_, Kojima wrote in the Phantom Pain novelisation:

“Metal Gear was born as a game in 1987. From there 28 years, within me the circle of the Metal Gear story has been closed with the latest release “MGSV”. A respected author, Dennis Lehane with the popular series “Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro” declared that at the peak of his popularity “No matter what kind of series it is, there is a time that it must end”, and he himself closed the curtain. No matter how popular a series is, someday the end will come. However, that is by no means a parting. Even if you can’t touch it, you can feel the influence of that story. A story is a thing without shape. Assuming physically nothing is there, nothing to be lost. As long as stories and legends are desired, they will continue forever. The brilliance will never vanish. It’s in everyone’s heart. It is not always true that saying “goodbye to a hero” ignites a phantom pain. By saying “goodbye to a hero”, you can for eternity leave behind lost joy as a blank space.”

“In MGSV, we hand the story (the legend) over to the player. That’s how the player becomes the Big Boss in the MSX2 Metal Gear. You play the game as you will, raise up your Mother Base. That’s the way I want the player to create his own story, thinking of things like “war” and “peace” as Big Boss. Up until now, the Metal Gear Saga was told by creating video games, but I want each player to think and come up with their own story (legend) on their own.”

“There is a blank space, but it will not be filled. In that blank space there is always a hero. Because there is a blank space, you can advance ahead. It is this blank space exactly that is “V”.”

Even the position of the novelisation, written by author Hitori Nojima, as canon is a void, with a typically cryptic Kojima adding:

“Language remains even if existence vanishes…”

Phantom Pain, indeed.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Hideo Kojima Leaves Konami… Or Has He?

It has emerged that Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, left his position at Konami two weeks ago following months of speculation, though no official confirmation has been released. Kojima’s exit followed a leaving party with the team formerly known as Kojima Productions (now known under the bureaucratic moniker “8th Production Department”, according to Nikkei) on 9th October, described by an insider to the New Yorker as “a rather cheerful but also emotional goodbye.”

After the report by The New Yorker, though, Konami came out to deny that Kojima had severed ties with the organisation, claiming to Tokyo Sports (and translated by Kotaku) that the Japanese auteur was simply “on vacation”. His party must have been one of those “Happy Vacation” parties. You don’t have those? You’re missing out.

“Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work,” Konami added, with “a long time” presumably an obtuse way of saying “forever”.

When asked directly about Kojima’s farewell celebration, the Konami spokesperson said, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.” Of course they don’t! Konami doesn’t understand sentiment, its heart having been replaced by a pachinko machine long ago.

Just to reinforce his New Yorker article, writer Simon Parkin then tweeted a photo from Kojima’s leaving do, just to prove that it was actually a “thing”.

Since rumours suggest that Kojima’s contract with Konami expires in December, it is conceivable that he is seeing out the remainder of his time with the company by using up his leave. Konami has not yet responded to questions regarding Kojima’s supposed return from his “vacation”.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Guillermo del Toro Says Silent Hills Cancellation “Makes no F**king Sense”

The vocally-protested cancellation of Silent Hills distressed many in the gaming community, coming as part of Konami’s “scorched Earth” approach to its feud with Metal Gear Solid auteur Hideo Kojima. Silent Hills was set to pair Kojima with horror director Guillermo del Toro and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus, a taste of which we got in the now-purged demo, P.T..

In an interview with Bloody Disgusting, del Toro briefly spoke about the cancellation of Silent Hills, expressing genuine confusion as to why Konami would pull the plug after the talent involved had already produced such great work together:

“It was curious.

We had a great experience and had great story sessions with hundreds upon hundreds of designs. Some of the stuff that we were designing for Silent Hills I’ve seen in games that came after, like The Last of Us, which makes me think we were not wrong, we were going in the right direction.

The thing with Kojima and Silent Hills is that I thought we would do a really remarkable game and really go for the jugular.

We were hoping to actually create some sort of panic with some of the devices we were talking about and it is really a shame that it’s not happening. When you ask about how things operate, that makes no f***ing sense at all that that game is not happening.

Makes no f***ing sense at all. That’s the randomness that I was talking about.”

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Kojima Goes Full Troll Over The Phantom Pain Chapter 3

The true Phantom Pain of Metal Gear Solid V has proven to be the game’s missing content. The last entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, while being a strong contender for Game of the Year, feels rushed once it enters its second chapter, a fact made more plain once owners of the PC version found evidence of cut content, Chapter 3: Peace.

While many suspect that the sparse Chapter 2 and missing Chapter 3 were compromises by series creator Hideo Kojima, forced upon him by an impatient Konami (which would fit with the speculation regarding a feud between the two). The gameplay and agency that it grants the player is phenomenal, while the narrative is lacklustre. The result is, in this humble writer’s opinion, the best game in the Metal Gear Solid series, while simultaneously being the worst Metal Gear Solid game.

Speculation persists that Chapter 3 will be made available as DLC, with many keen for a true resolution to the game, but already fuming at the idea of having to pay for it. Kojima, true to form, knows the score, and he’s sticking it to us.

Two tweets from Kojima yesterday, involving Star Wars, True Detective, and The Killing, seem to be obliquely referencing both The Phantom Pain and third parts:

Volume 3. C3PO with a red arm, much like Venom Snake’s prosthetic.

Episode 3. Rachel McAdams with an E-cigarette, much like Venom Snake’s Phantom Cigar.

No Season 3. That’s it. It’s all over. Let’s go home.

Kojima’s a stinker.

Image courtesy of Kotaku.

Konami Refutes Claims About Leaving AAA Consoles Behind

French site, Gameblog recently made a stark revelation regarding Konami’s future and close sources said the publisher would cease AAA console development apart from the PES franchise. However, these claims have been dismissed by Su-Yina Farmer, Konami Europe’s marketing manager and proclaimed:

“I hope re-purposing speculation and rumour as news isn’t the new standard.”

“I can promise you that we’re definitely not leaving Metal Gear behind or anything like that. I know some blogs were claiming that online this morning, but I’m not really sure where they’d be getting that from.”

“We’re still definitely working on console games and franchises such as Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, PES and all the rest.”

I’m pleased to see some clarification regarding this issue which reassures fans about the future of many beloved and long-running titles. Konami’s reputation is abysmal at the moment due to the Hideo Kojima controversy and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 PC launch. The only way to reverse this is through enriching games and unique experiences. Hopefully, this marks the end of unsubstantiated rumours revolving the company’s business model. Although, Konami should have been more transparent in the first place.

It’s interesting to see Konami mention, “and all the rest” and I’m struggling to think of any other lucrative franchises apart from Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania and PES. Perhaps, there’s a new IP coming and that would be a rather interesting move.

Thank you ThrowingDigitalSheep for providing us with this information. 

Fan Remakes Metal Gear as “Outer Heaven” in Unreal Engine 4

Hot on the heels of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – likely to be the last game in the Metal Gear Solid series, or at least the last canonical entry due to Hideo Kojima’s imminent exit from Konami – is a fan remake of the game that started it all 28 years ago.

Released for the MSX2 home computer in 1987, Metal Gear introduced the world to a rookie FOXHOUND agent codenamed Solid Snake who, under the guidance of Big Boss, is tasked with infiltrating the fortified state Outer Heaven and destroying the bipedal nuclear weapons platform, the eponymous Metal Gear.

Boker of IndieDB is working on a remake of the game – which remained elusive to many gamers until being included with the Subsistence release of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and the HD Collection, along with its MSX sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – dubbed Outer Heaven, after the game’s setting. Boker has previewed some early screenshots of his remake, created using Unreal Engine 4.

He describes his remake:

“The gameplay will be like last MGS, but i want make it too with a original perspective like old MGS [sic]. Solid Snake, a rookie member of the FOXHOUND special operations unit is sent by his superior Big Boss to the South African fortress Outer Heaven, with the goal of finding the missing squad member Gray Fox and investigating a weapon known as Metal Gear.”

It’s not the first time someone has attempted to remake Metal Gear: an attempt last year, which was being made by former Infamous and Gears of War developers and was set to feature Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter, was shut down by Konami after initially granting the permission for the fan project.

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Hideo Kojima Offers Advice on Playing Metal Gear Solid V

Now that Konami has released him from his purgatory at the coalface, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has dusted off his Twitter account in the wake of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s release.

Kojima has even offered advice regarding how his new game – likely to be the last Metal Gear Solid game he creates – should be enjoyed:

Not that players are likely to heed Kojima’s words; Jim Sterling certainly hasn’t:

https://twitter.com/JimSterling/status/638807611870081024

The Phantom Pain has garnered universal praise, from gamers and game sites alike, despite the behaviour of Konami, which just can’t stop being Konami. Even Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, creator of Minecraft, is loving it:

Kojima has also given us some insight into how his own playing style developed during production of Metal Gear Solid V:

However, he insists that he has not played the game since its release, as the famed perfectionist needs to let his baby go now that he has no further control over it:

Thought to be leaving Konami this month, Kojima hosted an emotional farewell to The Phantom Pain, and the Metal Gear series as a whole, during his last Official Debriefing video, during which he chats to the people who worked on the games, past and present, plus a touching tribute to 21-year-old Metal Gear Solid fan Sean Paul Gillespie, who lost his battle with cancer in February. Gillespie, whose correspondence with Kojima Productions touched Kojima, was cited as a motivation to get the game finished:

Image courtesy of Konami Japan.

Did a Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Easter Egg Reveal Kojima’s Konami Feud?

The saga regarding if and when Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is leaving Konami, seemingly against his will, has been rumbling on since March this year, but an Easter egg discovered in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, released on 18th March, 2014, a year before the ensuing drama became public knowledge, may have been pointing to Kojima’s exit and pre-emptive erasure for Metal Gear Solid’s history all along.

The Déjà Vu Mission, an extra op exclusive to the PlayStation release of the game, puts the player in control of a polygonal rendering of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake and tasks them with recreating iconic moments from the first game. A submission within Déjà Vu involves finding logos related to games from the history of the Metal Gear series.

Logos that pertain to Metal Gear games created by Kojima are erased – eerily reminiscent of Konami’s efforts to scrub Kojima’s name and production company credits from the Metal Gear Solid games – while those not produced by Kojima, such as Metal Gear Acid 2, are dismissed. “Looks like that’s nothing special,” says Snake’s associate Kaz when pointing to the aforementioned title’s logo.

Most tellingly, though, is a line that Kaz delivers later on, which seems to predict what would happen a year after the game’s release: “You might be able to erase the marking, but the memories will never disappear,” he says. There’s very little ambiguity about that.

The second part of the fifth and final instalment in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is set for release on 1st September on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, with the PC port expected a fortnight later.

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information.

Konami Destroys Another Game Franchise

Following the sad cancellation of Silent Hills and the imminent demise of both Metal Gear Solid and creator Hideo Kojima’s time at the company, Konami has trashed yet another popular game franchise, forcing the end of Japan’s favourite locomotive-themed virtual boardgame, Momotaro Dentetsu.

Creator of the Momotaro Dentetsu series, Akira Sakuma, says the games are “officially finished” after citing mistreatment by Konami executives. In a post on Twitter, Sakuma wrote:

“Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.”

The story might not seem like big news outside of Japan, where Momotaro Dentetsu is immensely popular, but in the context of what is happening at Konami recently, it is the latest symptom of the demise of a once-great company.

Sakuma’s treatment at the hand of Konami executives appears to be a trend after the company’s “restructuring”, with reports that tram members of Kojima’s studio, rushing to finish Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in time for release in December, are effectively being bullied into quitting, subjected to “frequent black-outs, security doors not working, people being forced to move desks every few days,” according to an anonymous source within Konami.

Konami’s scorched Earth policy to its past, seemingly in favour of a move into mobile gaming and gambling, is distressing to watch unfold.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Games Cabin.

Is Microsoft Set to Rescue Silent Hills?

Could it be? It is true? Will the greatest game never made really be resurrected? According to the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel: “We can report through an anonymous source that Microsoft is currently in talks to purchase Silent Hills from Konami, and have project as an Xbox One exclusive,” in a deal supposedly worth billions of dollars.

The recently cancelled Silent Hills – co-directed by horror auteur Guillermo del Toro and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, and starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus – is one of the many causalities of Konami’s ‘scorched Earth’ restructuring, with the company refocusing its resources on mobile gaming and gambling, but is probably the most lamented. The game’s demo, P.T., hailed as a masterpiece in of itself, was downloaded over a million time from the PlayStation Store, before being acrimoniously pulled last month. The source claims that Konami pulled P.T. from the PlayStation Store “as a show of good faith to Microsoft.”

The unsubstantiated rumour of Silent Hills’ imminent rescue courtesy of Microsoft sounds outlandish, but Lawrence Sonntag of Rooster Teeth’s The Know assures viewers that its anonymous source is trustworthy, saying, “The source is in the industry – very well placed – and has leak information to us in the past that has become true. Specifically, we learned from the source in July 2013 […] that Microsoft would eventually release an Xbox One without a Kinect, and at the time this is when Microsoft was saying, ‘we will never, ever, ever do it’.” The Know’s source reported that the change would occur Summer 2014 – Xbox One without Kinect then shipped on 9th June, 2014.

The Know added, “Our source told us that Microsoft is hungry for exclusives, and they are in serious talks with Konami to buy the Silent Hill property and convert it into an Xbox One exclusive. On top of that, Microsoft is hoping to close this deal by E3 so they can trot it out as a huge get,” so we shouldn’t have to wait too long until the report is confirmed to be true.

Finally, the leaker says that “Silent Hills is said to be about 80% done, and if all that is true the game could come out as early as March of next year.”

Billions of dollars for an ailing franchise? “80% done” when Reedus said during a reddit AMA in December 2014 that “we haven’t shot the heavy [motion capture] stuff yet”? I don’t buy a word of it. But I desperately want to.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

Konami Insists It’s Sticking With Consoles

After fans and shareholders alike shrieked at the idea that Konami was abandoning console games in favour of a move into mobile gaming and gambling, the company has issued a desperate statement insisting that it has no plans to exit the console gaming market.

In a letter to Polygon, Konami had this to say on the recent reorganisation that saw Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima marginalised and potentially exorcised from the company:

“The aim of this reform has been to guarantee that, in the quickly-changing digital entertainment industry where new game designs and platforms constantly alter the market environment, we can accurately observe new customer demands and market trends, and apply our long-established technology and knowhow quickly and effectively with a range of targeted responses,” according to the letter. “The reorganization process has entailed repositioning our production studios, shifting our game development to a more centralized production division system. Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain director Hideo Kojima and his team members are hard at work in the new production division system, bringing the game ever closer to completion.

We are aware that the conjecture surrounding our recent changes has prompted a great deal of anxiety, for which we apologize.”

Konami has amended the previous statements of its new President, Hideki Hayakawa, regarding mobile gaming, saying that the move will mark an expansion of Konami’s output, rather than mobile gaming usurping console games. However, with only two games expected from Konami this year – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 – the company could hardly reduce its console output any further.

Thank you Polygon for providing us with this information.

Guillermo del Toro Laments Konami’s “Scorched Earth” Approach to Silent Hills

With the cancellation of Silent Hills, and the imminent end of both the Metal Gear Solid series and creator Hideo Kojima’s time at the company, Konami is trashing its most popular franchises and working collaboration over a petty feud and a desire to move into mobile gaming and gambling.

Silent Hills, one of the pawns sacrificed during this upheaval, was greatly anticipated: a reboot of Silent Hill, co-directed by Kojima and horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, and starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus. The game’s demo, P.T., downloaded over one million times, was recently pulled from both the PlayStation Store and the online servers, so it cannot be re-downloaded.

During “An Evening with Guillermo del Toro” last month, the director spoke for the first time about the cancellation of Silent Hills, saying that it “[broke] his greasy heart”.

Now, del Toro has given a candid interview to IGN regarding the end Silent Hills, with the director admitting that he was very invested in it, and had developed a close relationship with Kojima during its development.

When IGN’s Daniel Krupa told del Toro that he was devastated by the game’s cancellation, he replied: “We are, too. The collaboration between Kojima and myself, the meetings, and the friendship that was developing was beautiful. We had an agreement on where to go. We had an agreement on how we were going to push the new platforms. We were having a blast.”

“What we wanted to do with the game – and we were very much in agreement on this – was to take the technology and make it as cutting-edge as we could in creating terror in the house. The idea was very, very atmosphere-drenched.

“But what made Silent Hill so great was that you had the atmosphere but then you a pay-off with a very active, very intense series of moments. We wanted to do some stuff that I’m pretty sure – just in case it ever comes back, which honestly I would love for somebody to change their mind and we can do it – but in case it comes back there was some stuff that was very new, and I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

“Norman [Reedus] was super happy, Hideo was super happy, and so was I. I know there’s a petition going on the internet and it’s gathering signatures. I would add my signature to it, and hope that someone pays attention.”

P.T. was downloaded enormously, which shows that people have a passion [for the series]. Silent Hill] hit me at the right time when I played the first one and the second. It’s a truly great mythology and too great a storytelling arena to let die. It’s too good.”

The manner in which Konami cancelled the game seems to have unsettled del Toro, about which he said, “Honestly that’s what surprised me. It was a sort of scorched earth approach. It was not a gentle and ambiguous cancellation.”

Finally, he admits that he has remained in contact with Kojima and that, if possible, he would be open to returning to Silent Hills should the rights somehow be rescued from Konami, saying, “Hideo and I have been in touch, and he knows he would be the only guy I would follow to the ends of the earth on anything. I think if anything can be rescued, I will be more than happy.”

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Forbes.

MGSV Quiet Action Figure Has Squeezable Boobs

Both the Metal Gear Solid games and creator Hideo Kojima himself have always had a rather juvenile attitude towards sexuality (I dare you to play Kojima’s point-and-click adventure Policenauts and not cringe at the slightly rapey behaviour towards women it encourages), so it comes as little surprise to find that the action figure based on Metal Gear Solid V character Quiet has been given soft, malleable breasts.

The character of Quiet, a mute sniper and an ally of Big Boss in Konami’s forthcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, has been described by Kojima as “sexy” in order to encourage fans to “want to do cosplay” and make sure “its figurine sells well.”

Kojima revealed photos of the Quiet figurine on his Twitter account this morning – tittering about how it sports boobs that can be “pushed & lifted. lol [sic]” – including one of model maker Yoji Shinkawa squeezing its mammaries together with his fingers.

Stefanie Joosten, the Dutch model who provided motion capture and voice for Quiet – who, being a mute, only emits “sounds like “ugh” and “ah”,” according to Kojima – admitted her surprise at Quiet’s skimpy outfit, but says that it is justified in-universe.

“Of course, I was surprised to see Quiet’s outfit at first,” said Joosten. “But, you know, it fits in the Metal Gear universe. I don’t think I’m allowed to say a lot about this, but, well, Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she’s wearing. Players will just have to look forward to that.”

Kojima also revealed a Raiden figure. It is noticeably lacking a squishy codpiece.

Thank you EuroGamer for providing us with this information.

Konami Confirms Silent Hills Death; Petition to Save it Hits 60,000

Konami has confirmed our greatest fear: Silent Hills is no more. The horror reboot, co-directed by Metal Gear Solid’s Hideo Kojima and acclaimed film director Guillermo Del Toro – feared to be at risk after the game’s demo, P.T., was pulled from the PlayStation Store – “will not be continued,” according to a statement from Konami.

As well as marking the end of a game many were excited about, it also provides us with further evidence that the relationship between Konami and Kojima is not long for this world, with the Metal Gear creator rumoured to be leaving the game developer once he is finished developing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Konami’s statement reads “Konami is committed to new Silent Hill titles, however the embryonic Silent Hills project developed with Guillermo del Toro and featuring the likeness of Norman Reedus will not be continued.”

Hideo Kojima’s name is rather conspicuous by its absence in that statement – akin to the removal of his name from all current Metal Gear Solid publicity materials – and rather childish on the part of Konami, should it be motivated by its falling out with Kojima. By all accounts, Kojima was the primary creative force during the development of the game, based around the Fox engine that he developed.

However, fans who enjoyed P.T. – which was downloaded over a million times, and is being sold on eBay (with PlayStation 4 included) for £1,000 a pop – have started a petition on change.org to save Silent Hills. The petition, which has a target of 75,000 signatories, already has over 61,000 supporters.

Thank you VG24/7 for providing us with this information.

Del Toro and Reedus Confirm Silent Hills is Dead

Yesterday, we brought you the news that P.T., the “playable teaser” for forthcoming horror reboot Silent Hills, was being pulled from the PlayStation Store, an indication that the game, starring Norman Reedus and co-directed by Hellboy’s Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, was not long for this world. Sadly, the end of Silent Hills has been seemingly confirmed by both Reedus and Del Toro.

At the “An Evening with Guillermo Del Toro” event in San Francisco, an audience member asked the director what was happening with Silent Hills. His response comes courtesy of photojournalist Matt Hackney on Twitter:

That was followed later that evening by another tweet, this time from actor Norman Reedus, famous for his role as Daryl in AMC’s zombie apocalypse drama The Walking Dead, bemoaning the termination of a game he was “really looking forward to”:

The story not only confirms the death of the highly-anticipated Silent Hill reboot, but also serves as further evidence that Kojima, rumoured to have been feuding with Konami for the past month, the developer behind both the Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid franchises, is leaving the company.

Konami has so far stone-walled questions about Kojima’s future, insisting that he is hard at work finishing Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, with rumours that he will be leaving straight after. If true, we may have to wait until The Phantom Pain’s release in September before we find out the full story behind Silent Hills’ demise.

Thank you The AV Club for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Silent Hill France.

Did Konami Just Confirm the Death of Silent Hills?

The highly anticipated Silent Hill sequel, Silent Hills, co-directed by horror auteur Guillermo Del Toro and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, was already considered under threat since rumours of a major fall out between Kojima and Konami, and the game’s developer may well have signalled the death-knell for Silent Hills by pulling the game’s demo from the PlayStation Store.

P.T. (short for Playable Teaser) was released on 12th August 2014 as a demo for a non-existent game. Upon completion, it was revealed that the interactive teaser was in fact a promo for the forthcoming Silent Hills. By the end of August, P.T. had been downloaded over one million times. Now, the game’s official website has announced that “The distribution period of “P.T. (Playable Teaser)” on PlayStation®Store will expire on Wednesday, April 29, 2015”.

The move follows a speculated feud between Kojima and Konami. Last month, Konami removed all mention of Hideo Kojima from its current and forthcoming Metal Gear Solid games, Metal Gear Solid Legacy CollectionMetal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, and Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, as well as moving Twitter followers of the official Metal Gear Solid account, @Kojima_Pro_Live, to the Kojima-less @metalgear_en. Subsequently, one of Metal Gear Solid’s stars revealed that Kojima has effectively been fired by Konami.

The potential demise of Silent Hills may have been triggered by a dispute over the game’s Fox engine, which is owned by Kojima, while Konami remains in control of the rights to the Silent Hill intellectual property. Let us hope that it’s not true, and that both parties can put their dispute to one side in order to finish the game.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Silent Hill France.

Donna Burke Claims Konami Fired Hideo Kojima; Konami Refutes

Donna Burke, voice actor on three Metal Gear Solid games, has claimed on Twitter that Konami has indeed fired Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, seemingly confirming months of speculation.

Burke, who provided the vocals for the song Heavens Divide from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and voiced the iDroid in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, had earlier tweeted a link to an article in which Akio Otsuka, the Japanese voice actor for Snake, implored fans not to cancel pre-orders of the game over the Kojima debacle:

However, Konami told VideoGamer.com that Burke’s claims are “categorically untrue”. The company released a vague statement last month, citing “change[s] in production organization of all of Konami” for Kojima being removed as a Konami Executive.

Source: VideoGamer

Kojima’s Konami Exit Could Kill Silent Hills

The in-development Silent Hills, the latest instalment in the Silent Hill horror game franchise starring Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead fame, and co-directed by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and The Hobbit’s Guillermo del Toro, may be cancelled after Kojima’s speculated fall out with developer Konami.

Silent Hills was released as a “playable teaser” – a fancy name for an early demo – for PlayStation 4 back in August last year to great acclaim, but the imminent departure of Kojima from the Konami fold may hamstring the game before it is ready for full release.

Although Konami owns the rights to the Silent Hill intellectual property, the Fox engine on which Silent Hills is built was developed by Kojima and his team. If the split is as acrimonious as has been suggested, it is feasible that Kojima could withhold permission for Konami to release the game with his engine. At the very least, that would force Konami to remake the game from scratch but, considering the cost, cancellation seems more feasible.

The end of Kojima’s and Konami’s long and fruitful relationship has been all but confirmed, with a source close to the matter telling Gamespot, “After we finish ‘MGS V,’ Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December.”

Source: International Business Times

Deck 13 Publicly Offers Kojima Head of Game Design Job

Konami are erasing his name from his own video games, and the man himself has gone into exile, expected to be unemployed in the near future. Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, must be feeling pretty low right now, but at least someone’s showing him some love.

Deck 13, the German developer of action RPG Lords of the Fallen, has made a public job offer to Kojima, inviting him to become its Head of Game Design over Twitter:

Should Kojima become a free agent, there will undoubtedly be a rush for his services, and that’s if 30-year veteran doesn’t decide to start his own development studio, so for him to accept Deck 13’s offer would be quite the coup for the German developer.

Source: VG24/7

Konami Breaks Silence on Kojima

For the past week, people have been asking, “Has Hideo Kojima left Konami?”, and though we’re no closer to an answer, Konami has at least made a statement on the matter.

Last week, Konami systematically stripped the name of Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, from the forthcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and Metal Gear Solid: Legacy Collection. At the same time, Kojima Productions was dissolved and rebranded, and even the official MGS Twitter account, @Kojima_Pro_Live, was renamed.

After the fact, Konami released a vague, non-committal statement, and Kojima himself went AWOL. Now we have a statement from Konami, via Twitter, attempting to clarify the situation:

“In accordance with the recent change in production organization of all of Konami, Kojima Productions, as well as other internal production companies, has had its name, etc., changed to move into the corporate headquarters work structure.

The name and organization has changed, but as before, MGSV: TPP is continuing as a work from director Kojima and the existing team members.

The social networking account has also been changed, but the new account has the same Metal Gear team members as the previous one, and is updating with the latest news. As the team members who are tweeting is unchanged, we would like your continued support and follows.

Naturally, director Kojima is playing the game, checking all the small details and giving directions to the staff as the title continues to completion. Bringing the thoughts and ideas of director Kojima in an open world game of the size of TPP is incredibly difficult, the director and the team that’s been there from the start are coming together as one as they aim to finish the game, so please give them the support they need.”

I’m so glad that’s been cleared up. Konami has failed to address whether Kojima is staying or going, citing only “change[s] in production organization of all of Konami”.

Japanese gaming site Gamespark has attempted to get a straight answer out of Konami, grilling them in a recent interview, but Konami PR answered every question with the rhetoric of a politician. When asked to confirm that Kojima was still under contract, Konami’s spokesperson responded, “I am unable to comment on an individual’s type of employment.”

We may be no closer to knowing the position of Kojima within Konami until we hear from the man himself, and with rumours that his phone, e-mail, and internet access has been contractually restricted by Konami – essentially gagged – we might be waiting until after The Phantom Pain is released in September.

Source: Kotaku