`Metal Gear Solid' Creator Leaves Konami to Start Own Studio

  • Hideo Kojima's first game will be an exclusive title for Sony
  • Konami considering options for the popular action franchise

Hideo Kojima, creator of Konami Holdings Corp.’s popular “Metal Gear Solid” series, has formed an independent studio and will begin developing games for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 console.

The 52-year-old game developer, who is celebrated by the industry for breaking new ground in action game-play, has parted ways with Konami to form Kojima Productions. Sony’s video games arm has agreed to develop an exclusive title with the new studio, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Kojima’s departure had been reported for months, including earlier Wednesday by the Nikkei newspaper.

Metal Gear Solid, a frequent also-ran in Sony’s annual PlayStation Awards, finally made the Platinum list this year with the fifth installment in the series. Kojima, who had reportedly been at odds with company management, didn’t attend the awards earlier this month.

Konami is now considering its next moves for the popular franchise, including its design, development team and platforms, spokesman Takayuki Kurumada said. Asked if Konami would consider working with Kojima again, he said: “Nothing has been decided at the moment.”

Clashes between creators and management are common in a video game industry already under pressure from free-to-play titles on mobile phones. Friction over creative freedom led to the departure of game creator Keiji Inafune from Capcom Co. and triggered a public spat between the team that made Call of Duty and publisher Activision Blizzard Inc.

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