Konami has discussed plans for a new entry in the Metal Gear series, but stopped short of confirming any concrete details. In business publication Nikkei, which was posted online by 2ch and has been translated by Kotaku, an unnamed representative states internal discussions about a new Metal Gear game have begun, and the company is examining plans.
"When we start development, a large-scale investment will become necessary," the representative is quoted as saying.
This person did not, however, discuss the extent of series creator Hideo Kojima's involvement, if at all. Kojima reportedly left Konami on October 9 after almost three decades at the company. Konami denied reports of his departure, claiming he is still an employee and is instead on vacation.
This is the second time Konami has suggested it is planning a new Metal Gear game. In March 2015 it said "auditions for main staff to lead the development" were underway, and asked interested developers to get in touch.
"Konami will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the Metal Gear series following Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain," it said in a statement at the time. "We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for Metal Gear.
"As the next step in the series, Konami has already resolved to develop a new Metal Gear title. We will be conducting auditions for main staff to lead the development. Interested parties are encouraged to contact us to via the recruitment page of the Konami official website."
The statements follow news the LA studio behind Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's online mode has been closed by the Japanese company.
Kojima, meanwhile, is believed to be under a non-compete clause that expires in December, which means he will not be able to sign new partnerships or announce new projects until after this period.
In March 2015, it was reported a power struggle between Konami and Kojima Productions, developer of the Metal Gear series, led to senior staff having limited access to emails, phone calls, and corporate Internet. In the months following, Kojima's name was removed from Metal Gear products and marketing.
In July, the Japanese voice actor for Metal Gear Solid's Snake stated that Kojima Productions no longer existed as a development studio.