Kojima's name scrubbed from MGSV: The Phantom Pain box art

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Back in March, Konami took steps to dim the visibility of Hideo Kojima's involvement in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain by removing his name from marketing materials. It was the result of a not-entirely-happy split between the two, and while it was perhaps a predictable move, it was still ugly in its hamfistedness. And despite the negative reaction among fans who felt that Kojima has been treated rather shabbily throughout, Konami isn't easing up.

As picked up by the eagle-eyed NeoGAF, Konami has freleased the final box art for MGS5TPP, and it's missing a key feature that was present on the previously-distributed placeholder art: the words "A Hideo Kojima Game." The art on GameStop, Amazon, and Steam still carry the Kojima name, but it's been scrubbed from images on the Konami website, as well as the official box art images.

By all appearances, the move is the culmination of an effort to assert Konami's "control" over the Metal Gear franchise, and comes despite a joint statement released in March in which the two parties did their best to put a positive spin on the situation. It's impossible at this early stage to predict what sort of long-term impact the acrimonious split will have on the future of Metal Gear, but right now there doesn't seem to be any question that Konami is making an absolute mess of it.

As for Kojima, his time with Konami seems just as clearly to be at an end. What will he do next? Andy (the other one) shares his thoughts on just that question in the wonderfully timed and succinctly titled, What Will Hideo Kojima Do Next?

(Forgive the console box. Because we are Heralds of the Digital Era (or something), box images bearing the PC logo aren't available.)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain official box art

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.