Yoichi Wada, former chief executive of Square Enix, has described Konami's treatment of Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima as "cruel" and offered his assessment of how his departure has been handled.
"As I know Mr. Kojima, I want to say, 'I can't believe this cruel treatment!' But, here I'm going to give my thoughts as a corporate exec," Wada wrote in a Facebook post, which was translated by Kotaku.
In October it was reported that Kojima had parted ways with Konami. Around one hundred guests attended a small leaving ceremony for him, including former colleagues from other studios. A Konami spokesperson responded to this event by saying, "we're not sure what kind of thing this was" and went on to say Kojima and his team are simply "taking a long time off from work."
More recently, Geoff Keighley revealed at the The Game Awards that Kojima was due to attend and accept an award for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, but was prevented from doing so by Konami's lawyers.
In his Facebook post, Wada said the whole situation was "a negative for [Konami's] business."
Konami has indicated an intention to reduce focus on big budget console games in favour of mobile games. A community manager later said this was not the case, and stressed that the Metal Gear Solid franchise can continue, without Hideo Kojima.
"Maybe leaving the home console market is [the Konami] management's plan, but going out of your way to make enemies with the world has no meaning," Wada said. "Generally, this kind of thing happens when there's a lack of leadership. I think, perhaps, there isn't someone in charge who is paying attention and laying out all the little details for whole enterprise."
He continued: "When you are not aware that the feelings of your own department aren't aligned with the world at large, the results can be deplorable."
In November, Konami said it has been discussing plans for a new entry in the Metal Gear series, but has not yet settled on any concrete details.
"When we start development, a large-scale investment will become necessary," a representative is quoted as saying.
Prior to this, in March 2015, Konami 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."
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.