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Metal Gear Solid 5's box art removes Kojima name

Konami strips game of Kojima Productions branding.

Konami has removed all mention of Hideo Kojima and his studio, Kojima Productions, from Metal Gear Solid V's box art.

New, and seemingly final, versions of the box art carry no mention of Kojima, where placeholder assets had previously showed the Kojima Productions logo and the line "A Hideo Kojima Game."

The news comes just days after Otsuka Akio, the Japanese voice actor for Metal Gear Solid's protagonist Snake, claimed the development studio no longer exists. "[Kojima Productions] has been disbanded," he said. "It appears that the work that the team has been putting their utmost effort into is nearly complete." Konami has yet to respond to the speculation.

This is not the first time Konami has sought to remove mention of the long-time Metal Gear director from its games. Back in March, the publisher deleted Kojima Productions branding from the Silent Hills/PT website, before announcing that the reboot project had been cancelled altogether.

Konami also wiped Kojima branding from official artwork and marketing material for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, as well as from Twitter and the publisher's LA office listing. But, until now, The Phantom Pain's box art had remained untouched.

A source close to Kojima Productions told GameSpot in March that Kojima is expected to leave the studio following the completion of The Phantom Pain. It is understood that the team's contracts run until December.

The Metal Gear Solid 5 release date has been set for September 1 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. The PC release date is scheduled for two weeks later.

In the meantime, have a look at our timeline of events to catch up on all the goings-on between Konami and Kojima.