“He’s coming too?”
Generally speaking, when a high ranking employee departs from an employer, the employer has multiple provisions in place to protect their interests, and ensure that the employee won’t encroach on their territory. These provisions include non compete agreements, which bar the employee from holding a similar position to the one they held with the employer for a certain amount of time, and non poaching agreements, which prohibit the employee from asking others at the company to quit to come work with them.
In the case of Konami and Hideo Kojima, it seems that none of those apply whatsoever. Not only has Kojima quit Konami, and started his own new studio right away, but it also looks like he is siphoning off some of the best talent from Konami to his own new studio. We already know that he has Yoji Shinkawa, the Art Director, working with him, along with Ken-Ishiro Imaizumi, the Producer; personal assistant Ayako Terashima; and Shinji Hirano, the former President of Konami Europe.
But it looks like that’s not all, either. Apparently, Kojima also has Masaki Saito and Jackie Tan, formerly game designers at Konami, working at his new studio. He’s also managed to get Yasuhiro Kawakami, cinematic artist at Konami, working at the new Kojima Productions. Chihoko Uchiyama, who was the senior character designer at Konami, has also been recruited by Kojima. And in what is probably Kojima’s biggest coup, he has Akio Sakamoto, the man who designed the core of the FOX Engine, working with him at the new Kojima Productions, too.
This is, increasingly, good news for us as gamers- it ensures that Konami’s talent lives on at the new Kojima Productions, even as Konami themselves look content to not utilize that talent, or their considerable back catalog. The new Kojima Productions is basically Konami reborn- and I can’t wait to see what they all decide to do in the future.