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Rumour: Konami to cease triple-A development on all titles except PES, FOX engine director leaves

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[Update 18 Sept] Composer of multiple Metal Gear Solid scores Rika Muranaka posted a tweet in response to the reports, stating, “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.” However, it’s unclear whether Muranaka is confirming these reports, or simply reacting to them.

[Original story] Reports are surfacing that Konami’s head of technical strategy Julien Merceron – who oversaw the FOX engine’s creation – has departed the company, and that it will no longer be producing triple-A titles other than PES going forwards. Konami has yet to confirm or deny either of these reports, however.

The reports originate from Gameblog.fr, and claim that there are no plans internally at Konami to produce another big-budget Metal Gear title (Kojima’s MGSV: The Phantom Pain cost a reported $80 million). Beyond that, the company has no plans to pursue development of any of its triple-A IPs other than PES. That would mean no future Castlevania or Silent Hill games – nor any glorious Contra reboot in the forseeable future.

Gameblog claims that Merceron’s departure from Konami comes in reaction to that shift in focus away from triple-A development. The reports follow news of Hideo Kojima’s departure from the publisher and the subsequent closure of his Kojima Productions studio, and a damning report from respected Japanese financial newspaper NIkkei, which claimed the company’s games division was “deteriorating.”

PCGamesN reached out to Konami for comment, but with TGS in full swing and the Japanese bank holiday being observed, the publisher’s currently unavailable to respond with an official statement. Until then, Gameblog’s reports aren’t to be taken as gospel. We’ll update you when we hear more.