Hideo Kojima's exit from Konami isn't just the end of Metal Gear as we know it. It's the end of the era of big-name directors running the show in Japan.
From all appearances, the groundbreaking director of the influential, often brilliant Metal Gear Solid games will be done with his longtime employer Konami very soon. The publisher says Kojima will stay on to finish his magnum opus Metal Gear Solid V, which ships in September. But Silent Hills-a collaboration with film director Guillermo Del Toro and Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus announced to great fanfare in August-is dead. Looks like Kojima and Konami are splitsville.
It may not be a stretch to say that there will never be another Kojima, no one creator who holds such sway over a massive big-budget gaming enterprise. It's too expensive, too risky a business to be left up to the creative whims of a single auteur. But that's precisely what the Japanese game business was, for a long time. Kojima's exit just puts a period on it. The era of the Legendary Game Designer producing massive triple-A games at Japanese studios is officially over.