Hideo Kojima Was Fired by Konami Because He Was “Too Expensive”

Posted: October 6, 2015 in Opinion Piece

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by Paul Tamburro via Crave Online

More speculative information regarding Hideo Kojima’s departure from publisher Konami has been revealed, with Metal Gear Solid composer Rika Muranaka reportedly discussing the reason behind Kojima and Konami having severed ties.

According to The Codec podcast’s co-host Clayton Daley, an interview held with Muranaka by another podcast he hosts called Metal Gear Central shed some light on the reasons why the relationship between the publisher and Metal Gear creator soured, with the reasoning being that Kojima frequently over budget during the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Read an excerpt of Daley’s explanation of Muranaka’s claims below (thanks to NeoGAF user Jindrax for the find):

Daley: “The main reason for the falling out, at least in her opinion, is that Kojima gets paid a salary, and doesn’t make any profit share on the game. He gets paid a certain amount no matter what, and he was spending so much money and delaying the project, and adding all these features and making sure the game was the biggest and best thing it could be, and Konami was unhappy with that because [delaying] has no effect on him. He was spending the budget on this and that and upgrading the Fox Engine and then delaying further because the engine wasn’t ready, and Konami wasn’t happy with that because he gets his salary and he takes a more traditional “Japanese man” approach by not taking a profit share. So in doing that, he gets a little more than a game creator would but doesn’t take bonuses from the game selling well.”

Yong: “So you’re telling me that Kojima wanting to make the game the best it can be is what started the conflict?”

Daley: “Yes. In her eyes, Kojima’s a fantastic creator, and probably the best creator of his time, but he doesn’t have a strong business sense like Konami would like him to have. Where instead of, for example, cutting corners by lowering foliage resolution, he wants to make sure everything looks as good and polished as possible. She said they paid for her to write 30-40 songs that ended up not being used, and he’d tell her to write another one, then another one, then another one, because he settles for what he likes and has a good mind for what people want to see and what people want to hear.

Daley: “She’s worked directly with Kojima for the music before so she does have some insight, and personally believes that the music has suffered in MGSV because she’s not a part of it, because they couldn’t afford her. So instead of paying her to go to all these people and recruit them for the music, they chose to remove her from the equation and go to the people directly.”

While we have still yet to hear the reasoning behind Kojima’s departure from either Konami or Kojima himself, if Murunaka’s claims are correct then this certainly adds an interesting spin on the whole debacle. Refusing to accept anything less than the very best for the next entry in the Metal Gear series certainly sounds like something Kojima would do, and I can imagine his dedicated to recreating his vision for the game would have certainly sent it over budget, but if Kojima was fired by Konami then, from an outsider’s perspective, it seems that was the fault of the publisher and the contract they had signed with him.

Scalding and actively punishing a creator for wanting to create the best thing they possibly can seems like a huge backwards step, and though we’ll likely never hear of the real reasons why Konami and Kojima parted ways, this latest rumor comes from a pretty credible source.

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