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Hideo Kojima, one of Japan’s most-famous game developers and the creator of the long-running Metal Gear series, has formally left Konami Digital Entertainment, according to the Japanese publication Nikkei.

The Nikkei article said that Kojima plans to start a new game studio. Kojima published his first Metal Gear game in 1987. Since that time, 29 more Metal Gear games have appeared over many platforms. That’s a rare and storied achievement for any video game creator.

Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid.

Above: Hideo Kojima, the creator of Metal Gear Solid.

Image Credit: Konami

Kojima’s troubles with Konami have been well publicized this year, and it was expected that he would leave after the publication of his latest game, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

The news is not a surprise. During the recent airing of The Game Awards, host Geoff Keighley said that a lawyer from Konami informed Kojima that he would not be allowed to travel from Japan to the U.S. to be present for the awards show.


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