Metal Gear Solid boss Hideo Kojima has departed Konami to start his own studio as of December 15, according to a report from Japanese newspaper Nikkei (opens in new tab) (translated by Polygon (opens in new tab)). The paper reports that Kojima is in talks with Sony Computer Entertainment, though it doesn't go into any more detail from there.
Rumors of difficulties between Kojima and Konami began circulating before the release of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (opens in new tab). One report (opens in new tab) put the celebrated game maker's last day with his longstanding employer in October, though Konami denied it (opens in new tab). Geoff Keighley, producer of The Game Awards, said Konami legally barred Kojima (opens in new tab) from attending the event to accept awards for MGS5 earlier this month.
If Nikkei's report is true, that would mean the end of a roughly three-decade relationship between Kojima and Konami. It could also mean the start of some exciting new projects from Kojima, who had long lamented being so attached to the success of the Metal Gear franchise. He wouldn't have much choice, since Konami still holds the rights to all of his old games.
Another translation from NeoGAF user Zefah (opens in new tab) notes that Kojima is starting the studio with several of his former workers from Konami. It also specifies that he's in talks "with plans to release on platforms such as Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE)'s PlayStation," though that doesn't mean he isn't also in talks to release them elsewhere.
I've asked a Konami representative for official comment on these reports and will update this article when I hear back.
Image credit: Georges Seguin (opens in new tab)