The Japanese voice actor for the various incarnations of Snake in the Metal Gear Solid series has said Kojima Productions no longer exists as a development studio.
Otsuka Akio, who has voiced Solid Snake and Big Boss in the console and portable Metal Gear Solid titles, revealed the news in a Twitter update, which Japan-focused gaming website Gematsu has translated.
"[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.:
Akio went on to say he believes Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will be the team's greatest work.
:I’m not exaggerating when I say that I expect it will become their greatest masterpiece,: he continued. :I couldn’t help it. I just wanted to say 'Kept you waiting, huh?' But even if this is the end, Metal Gear Solid is immortal!"
Konami has not yet officially announced whether Kojima Productions has ceased to operate. GameSpot has contacted the company for a statement.
In March 2015 GameSpot revealed that senior staff at Kojima Productions had been given restricted access to corporate internet, emails, and phone calls, following ongoing power struggles between Kojima Productions and its parent company Konami.
Senior staff at the studio, including Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima, were essentially working as contractors, as opposed to permanent employees, with a focus on completing work on The Phantom Pain.
A source at the studio explained that, once the Phantom Pain's development was complete, management at the studio would likely disband and Kojima would leave.
"After we finish MGSV, Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami. They said their contract ends in December," the source claimed. "At a team meeting, Mr Kojima explained that team have to be one and make a good game for fans."
In the weeks following, Konami removed the Kojima Productions logo from all official Metal Gear marketing mater--past and present. The branding was also been removed from Twitter, the official Metal Gear website, and even the LA office listing.
Konami said at the time that "Mr. Kojima will continue to develop and support Metal Gear products."
Silent Hills, which was set to be co-directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo Del Toro, is also believed to be a casualty of the collapse of Kojima Productions. Konami cancelled the project in April 2015.
A month later, Del Toro discussed the cancellation of Silent Hills, saying that split between Konami and Hideo Kojima was "completely unexpected."
A key executive at Konami later said the company will "pursue mobile games aggressively" going forward, and that smartphones will be considered its "main platform."
For a complete overview of the events surrounding Konami, Kojima, Metal Gear Solid, and Silent Hills, check out GameSpot's timeline.