There's still something of Kojima's that Konami hasn't killed yet

While Konami continue to strip Kojima (opens in new tab) and his name (opens in new tab) from existence, it seems some part of the man has escaped the company's scorched Earth approach to employee relations. Way back in September 2013, Hideo Kojima planted a cherry tree as a symbolic gesture when he opened his LA Kojima Productions studio:

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It's just a Konami studio now, but the tree lives, as noted by Venturebeat (opens in new tab) below. There are no flowers anymore and it's, somewhat poetically, looking dead and barren against the greenery now:

Picture credit: Dale North.

Back when the studio was founded, Kojima and his team had a ceremony to plant the tree. Obviously, it was intended to grow and blossom as the studio did the same. But that was before Konami decided to focus on mobile games (opens in new tab) , allegedly put Kojima on contract, and generally give console gaming the finger.

Here are some pictures of the ceremony from Ricky Zhang, who still calls himself 'the lead character artist at Kojima Productions Los Angeles' on his blog (opens in new tab).

I'm pretty sure that Kojima behind the tree. Although conspiracy theorists might have a field day when they realise Ricky took three pictures and you can't see Kojima's head clearly in any of them (opens in new tab).

It was a big deal at the time, what with the signed gold shovels and everything.

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And, for the time being, it's a little bit of Kojima that Konami hasn't quite removed just yet...

Leon Hurley
Senior Guides Co-ordinator

I'm currently GamesRadar's Senior Guides Co-ordinator, which means I've had a hand in producing or writing all of the guide and tips content on the site. I also write reviews, previews and features, and do video. Previously I worked for Kotaku, and the Official PlayStation Magazine and website. I'm a big fan of open world games, horror, and narrative adventures.