Essentially, the split between Kojima and Konami was the result of clashing ideologies. Kojima, a visionary perfectionist who ignores the business side of development, versus Konami, a regimented company that shifted its focus to mobile games and maximizing profits. While much of the clash remains a mystery, all that’s known for sure is Konami destroyed its own reputation almost overnight.
Thanks to Kojima and whistleblowers, the gaming world learned Konami’s secret: it treats its employees like prisoners. The company uses cameras to monitor worker movement, reassigns experienced developers to menial and janitorial labor, and hawks employee social media accounts. That’s just how the company treats normal working joes. Konami placed even harsher restrictions on Kojima and his staff.
At first, punishment started small with a corporate restructuring and a new executive board that did not include Kojima, and it went downhill from there. Developers under Kojima were demoted from full-time staff to contractors with limited access to Konami’s internet, email servers, and telephones. And Kojima was isolated from his team for six months in a different room on a different floor. He wasn’t even allowed to talk to them directly. Instead, he had to engage in phone tag.