Kojima Productions

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Kojima Productions Co., Ltd.
Native name
株式会社コジマプロダクション
Kabushiki gaisha Kojima Purodakushon
Formerly
Kojima Productions[a] (2005–2015)
Private
IndustryVideo games
FoundedApril 1, 2005; 15 years ago (2005-04-01)
FounderHideo Kojima
Headquarters,
Japan
Key people
Number of employees
~80[1] (2019)
ParentKonami Digital Entertainment (2005–2015)
DivisionsKojima Productions Amsterdam[2]
Websitekojimaproductions.jp

Kojima Productions Co., Ltd.[b] is a Japanese video game development studio founded in 2005 by video game designer Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear series. It was established as a subsidiary of Konami.[4] The studio had around 100 employees, but grew to over 200 for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.[5][6] After leaving Konami and ending the contract, Kojima reformed the company as an independent studio in Shinagawa.[7][8]

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

Kojima Productions' logo under Konami; the emblem is based upon that of the FOX unit, as introduced in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
Kenichiro Imaizumi (producer), Yumi Kikuchi (model), and Hideo Kojima showcasing Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2007

Kojima Productions was formed on April 1, 2005, after Konami merged several subsidiaries including Kojima's team at Konami Computer Entertainment Japan.[9] Kojima said the merger relieved him of business management and administrative burdens he had as KCEJ's vice president, and that as head of Kojima Productions he could focus on creating games.[9] According to Kojima, while he now held a position on the Konami board, he still had to persuade staff to invest in his game ideas: "That's my challenge, and my satisfaction when I present to them, saying I want to create this new thing ... If they say, 'No! We don't know what you're talking about!' then this is actually the fun part."[10]

The first Kojima Productions release was Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in 2011, a compilation of Metal Gear games. They released Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D for Nintendo 3DS as a port for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. The company produced two final video games for Konami, including Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.[citation needed]

Closure[edit]

On March 16, 2015, Konami announced that it had restructured the game development operations to "[shift] our production structure to a headquarters-controlled system, in order to establish a steadfast operating base capable of responding to the rapid market changes that surround our digital entertainment business." Kojima and his company were stripped from promotional material and websites relating to the Metal Gear series, Kojima's Los Angeles studio was renamed Konami Los Angeles Studio, a new Metal Gear Solid Twitter account without references to Kojima in its username was established, and the Kojima Productions website began to redirect to the Metal Gear Solid website. That day, Kojima posted a photo on his personal Twitter account captioned "heading off", and a Konami filing stated that as of April 1, 2015, he would no longer be among Konami's executive officers. Speculation arose that Kojima had planned to leave Konami after the release of The Phantom Pain, which he had described as the conclusion to the Metal Gear series.[11][12]

On March 19, an anonymous employee reported to GameSpot that these changes were a result of conflicts between Kojima and Konami. The employee stated that Kojima and his staff were now being treated as contracted workers rather than employees, Konami had blocked access to their corporate e-mail and phone systems, and that Kojima and the studio's senior staff planned to leave Konami in December 2015 following the conclusion of their contracts and the release of The Phantom Pain.[11] A Konami spokesperson denied that Kojima was leaving the company, and stated that he would still be involved with Konami and the Metal Gear franchise.[12] On March 20, Konami stated on its website that Kojima would stay through at least the completion of The Phantom Pain, and that it was recruiting staff to develop future Metal Gear games.[13] Kojima confirmed in a statement that he was still "100% involved" in The Phantom Pain, and was "determined to make it the greatest game I've directed to date".[14] Actress Donna Burke, who had been involved in the game, claimed in a posting on Twitter that Kojima had been fired; Konami denied these claims and Burke revoked her statement.[15]

On July 10, 2015, Akio Ōtsuka tweeted that Kojima Productions had closed.[16] In December 2015, Kojima Productions was nominated for Developer of the Year at The Game Awards 2015, but lost to CD Projekt Red.[17] Kojima was reportedly blocked from attending the event by Konami's lawyers, requiring Snake actor Kiefer Sutherland to accept awards for The Phantom Pain on his behalf.[18]

Independent reformation[edit]

On December 16, 2015, in a joint announcement with Sony Computer Entertainment, Kojima announced that his company would be re-established as an independent studio, with artist Yoji Shinkawa and producer Kenichiro Imaizumi.[19][20][21] The studio announced that it would develop a new franchise for PlayStation 4.[22] Kojima stated that he "will be taking on a new challenge by establishing my own independent studio, and I am thrilled to be able to embark on this journey with PlayStation, who I have continued to work with all these past years".[23] At E3 2016, Kojima unveiled a trailer to Death Stranding during Sony's pre-E3 conference.[24][25] It was released by Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2019, and a PC version was released by 505 Games on Windows in July 2020. In November 2019, the studio announced their plans to make films.[26]

Kojima modeled the philosophy of Media Molecule when reforming the studio.[27][28] After visiting the company in 2016, he simultaneously modeled his own, wanting "a small, intimate type of studio".[27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36] Kojima praised their high number of female employees and relaxed atmosphere comparing the atmosphere to a family.[28][31][34][35] Kojima set a limit of one hundred employees for the studio, similar to Media Molecule.[27][28][29][33][36]

Imaizumi left the company in 2019.[37] In April 2020 during COVID-19 pandemic, the office was shut down after an employee contracted COVID-19.[38]

Games[edit]

Though Kojima had been designing games at Konami in 1987, the studio was not officially formed until 2005. However, Konami retroactively referred to Kojima's earlier productions as belonging to the studio.[39] His games for Konami were released until 2015.

Pre-KCEJ/Kojima Productions[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
1987 Metal Gear MSX2 Released only in Japan and Europe. Ported to the NES by a separate team after its initial release.
1988 Snatcher PC-8801, MSX2
1990 SD Snatcher MSX2
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
1992 Snatcher CD-ROMantic PC Engine Remake of the original Snatcher with an expanded ending and added voice acting. Ported to the Sega CD by another team for the overseas market in 1994. A set of 32-bit ports for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn were released in Japan in 1996, developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo.
1994 Policenauts PC-9821, 3DO, PlayStation, Sega Saturn

Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (KCEJ)[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
1998 Metal Gear Solid PlayStation First Kojima game to be developed under the Konami Computer Entertainment Japan subsidiary
1999 Metal Gear Solid: Integral PlayStation, Windows Expanded version of the original Metal Gear Solid featuring a third disc of bonus missions. The third disc was released by itself as Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions in North America and as Metal Gear Solid: Special Missions in the PAL region. Windows version developed by Digital Dialect.
2000 Metal Gear: Ghost Babel Game Boy Color
2001 Zone of the Enders PlayStation 2
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
2002 The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2
Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows Windows version developed by Success.
2003 Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner PlayStation 2
Boktai Game Boy Advance
2004 Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes GameCube Collaboration with Silicon Knights
Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django Game Boy Advance
Metal Gear Acid PlayStation Portable
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater PlayStation 2

Kojima Productions (Konami subsidiary)[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
2005 Shin Bokura no Taiyō: Gyakushu no Sabata Game Boy Advance Third game in the Boktai series that was released only in Japan. Also known as Boktai 3: Sabata's Counterattack.
Metal Gear Acid 2 PlayStation Portable
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence PlayStation 2
2006 Kabushiki Baibai Trainer Kabutore Nintendo DS
Metal Gear Solid: Digital Graphic Novel PlayStation Portable
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
2007 Lunar Knights Nintendo DS Fourth game in the Boktai series, which was retitled for its overseas release
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus PlayStation Portable
2008 Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots PlayStation 3
Metal Gear Online
2009 Gaitame Baibai Trainer: Kabutore FX Nintendo DS
Metal Gear Solid Touch iOS
2010 Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker PlayStation Portable
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Collaboration with MercurySteam
2011 Metal Gear Solid HD Collection PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360 HD conversions of MGS2, MGS3 and Peace Walker. The Vita versions only includes MGS2 and MGS3. In Japan, Peace Walker was given a separate retail release for PS3 and Xbox 360.
2012 Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D Nintendo 3DS
Metal Gear Solid: Social Ops Mobile
Zone of the Enders HD Collection PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2013 Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 Collaboration with PlatinumGames
Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection PlayStation 3 Compilation that includes all the titles in the HD Collection, plus MGS4 and a voucher code for the original MGS and its expansion
2014 Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
P.T. PlayStation 4 "Playable teaser" for the cancelled Silent Hills; credited under the pseudonym "7780s Studio"
2015 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One Final Kojima Productions game released by Konami
N/A Silent Hills PlayStation 4 Cancelled

Kojima Productions (independent studio)[edit]

Year Title Platform(s) Notes
2019 Death Stranding PlayStation 4, Windows First game to not be affiliated with Konami; published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and 505 Games

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kojima Purodakushon (Japanese: 小島プロダクション)
  2. ^ From 2005 to 2015, as subsidiary of Konami Digital Entertainment, known as Kojima Productions (小島プロダクション, Kojima Purodakushon), 小島 being the kanji for the last name of the studio's head, Hideo Kojima. In December 2015, Kojima re-incorporated the studio independently as Kojima Productions Co., Ltd. (株式会社コジマプロダクション, Kabushiki gaisha Kojima Purodakushon), コジマ being a phonetic katakana rendering of his last name.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brown, Peter (September 17, 2019). "Hideo Kojima Says It's His Destiny To Take Risks And Create New Games". GameSpot. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "Death Stranding Uses Guerrilla's Decima Engine; Kojima Setting Up Satellite Studio In Amsterdam". WCCF Tech. December 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Mark MacDonald (December 25, 2015). "12/25/2015: MERIKURI". 8-4 (Podcast). Event occurs at 1:30:45. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
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External links[edit]