With the exception Pro Evolution Soccer, Konami has ceased development of all triple-A console game projects, reports have suggested.
According to French gaming site Gameblog, which Eurogamer claims to have independently verified, Konami is currently finishing work on Metal Gear Online, but has no plans to release a "big" new Metal Gear title after this.
This is in direct contrast to previous indications that it is in the planning stages of developing a new Metal Gear game. In March 2015, Konami said it is conducting "auditions for main staff to lead the development," of a new Metal Gear project and has asked interested developers to get in touch.
Both of the aforementioned sites note that, with release of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and PES 2016, Konami now has a blank schedule in terms of triple-A console releases.
This on its own, however, is neither a clear nor definitive sign the company is pulling out of the triple-A console market. GameSpot has contacted Konami for a statement on the matter.
Rika Muranaka, a composer at Konami that has worked on the Metal Gear Solid and Castlevania series, has responded to Twitter updates about Konami's reported move away from triple-A console game development, suggesting there is some truth to the statements.
Yes....it's pretty sad...now, I can't write music to any of AAA games..well, I need to find another AAA game company https://t.co/lVIFRXi95a— Rika Muranaka #MGWV (@unjazzmusic) September 18, 2015
The reports follow recent news that Julien Merceron, worldwide technology director in charge of overseeing the creation of the Fox Engine, has left the company.
Konami's ongoing investment in console game development has been a big point of speculation of late.
In May 2015, Konami president Hideki Hayakawa said the company will "pursue mobile games aggressively" going forward, and that smartphones will be considered as its "main platform."
"Our main platforms will be mobiles," he began. "Gaming has spread to a number of platforms, but at the end of the day, the platform that is always closest to us, is mobile. Mobile is where the future of gaming lies.
"With multiplatform games, there's really no point in dividing the market into categories anymore. Mobiles will take on the new role of linking the general public to the gaming world."
The statements were taken as evidence the publisher was backing away from the console gaming, but Konami followed-up and released a statement saying it is interested in producing content for all the platforms available to it, including consoles.
"Konami will continue to embrace the challenge of creating entertainment content via different platforms," it said. "Not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times."