MGS voice actress Donna Burke has commented on her Facebook since her original statement on Twitter regarding Hideo Kojima being fired by Konami. She has clarified her statement and apologised for upsetting everyone. “I agree, Konami – I should be more accurate. “Don’t throw away the last 5 years because Konami changed the contract status of a genius.” Konami is correct in that Kojima has not actually been fired.”
“As I stated previously he and his team are still working hard on getting the game out. My sincere apologies to Konami, Hideo Kojima and the fans for giving the wrong impression. I was trying to add my voice to Otsuka-san pleading with the fans to not abandon MGSV because of the stuff happening at Konami and to throw my support behind Kojima and everyone who has worked over the last five years and is working to make this game the greatest ever. This is true. Kojima himself confirmed in a statement that he was still “100% involved” in the completion of The Phantom Pain, and was “determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date.” So my apologies for upsetting you all.”
So now we have a change of ‘contract status’ and not Kojima being fired by Konami. Things still appear to be as clear as mud but what we do know is that Kojima is still very much a part of the development team for Metal Gear Solid 5 (opens in new tab).
Nothing like a bit of confusion to cloud an already unclear issue. Two of Metal Gear Solid 5’s (opens in new tab) actors have spoken out about Kojima’s rumoured departure from Konami (opens in new tab) but with conflicting messages. Donna Burke, a Tokyo-based actress who plays MGS 5’s iDroid voice, has tweeted emphatically that Kojima was fired, while Akio Ōtsuka, the Japanese voice of Snake, says the team for the game is the same and urges fans not to boycott the game (like that’s going to happen).
Yes don’t throw away the Kojima teams work over the last 5 years because upper management fired a geniusApril 9, 2015
@AaronDavidAshby yes but it’s been out in the media for weeks..but it’s trueApril 9, 2015
全世界に広がるMGSﾌｧﾝの皆さん!!新作TPP に於いて、クリエーターはこれまで通りです。早まって予約の取り消し、不買運動などはやめましょう！１人でも多くの方が楽しめますように…！！April 8, 2015
.@GuerrillaDawg @AkioOtsuka @JunkerHQnet The TPP team is the same, so please don’t cancel preorders or encourage others not to buy it.->April 8, 2015
As with everything about Kojima and Konami at the moment it’s all very murky. Burke, for example, seems to think Kojima’s firing is already a confirmed fact, despite all official press releases so far stating that he’s still making the game and involved in its production. Although the phrasing like “will remain involved throughout” is less than encouraging. Aside from the official word, it’s mainly rumours regarding Kojima’s departure, with unverified sources behind talk of restricted office access and key Kojima Production members finishing the game on contract, to be dismissed in December once it’s completed.
It means that both Burke’s claim that Kojima’s been canned, and Ōtsuka statement that the team hasn’t changed, could be correct. Konami are already talking about making a new Metal Gear game and seem to be looking for new senior staff to do it, suggesting that Kojima could indeed be seeing out a contract and due to be fired after.
A “Konami representative” has apparently told VideoGamer (opens in new tab) the claim Kojima was fired is “categorically incorrect”. I’m seeking confirmation on that as we speak.