Konami’s golden boy has gone indie – and his new studio’s first game is a partnership with Sony. How did he get here, and what’s next?

For decades, the conspiracy-mad Metal Gear Solid games thrilled players with their labyrinthine plots, filled with casual betrayals – so perhaps it is fitting that, the auteur-like creator of the series, Hideo Kohima, left in murkily acrimonious circumstances. The gaming soap opera of 2015 began in March, when rumours first circulated that Kojima would be forced off the project by the series’ publisher Konami after September’s release of MGSV: The Phantom Pain. The speculation ended on Wednesday when Sony announced it had signed up the first game from his new independent studio. How did Kojima end up here? Why did it go wrong with Konami? And what’s next?

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