The Konami drama continues. After rumours that the veteran publisher is leaving AAA development and the confusion surrounding the employment status of Hideo Kojima - its most famous staffer - Konami has recently confirmed that it is shuttering the LA-based studio responsible for Metal Gear Online, which recently launched alongside the critically and commercially successful Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
All of this might lead you to assume that the Metal Gear franchise is dead in the water, but in a recent interview with Nikkei, Konami has been quoted as saying that the production of another instalment in the million-selling series is a matter of "when" rather than "if":
When we start development, a large-scale investment will become necessary.
Konami had previously claimed it was committed to making more Metal Gear games, but this latest statement seems to indicate that wheels are already in motion. Will its legendary creator be involved? Konami still insists that Kojima is "on vacation" and remains a full time employee, but there are reports that his contract expires in December, at which point he is free to leave the company.
Metal Gear began life on the MSX computer, but found fame in the west thanks to the subsequent NES conversion, which Kojima ironically wasn't involved in. Metal Gear Solid on the PlayStation would lift the brand to AAA status, and since then we've seen the series come to the GameCube, Game Boy Color and 3DS.
While the franchise has skipped the Wii U, any future Metal Gear title would have a good chance of coming to the NX, as Nintendo's new system is rumoured to offer power similar to that of the PS4 and Xbox One.