Rumor: US Studio To Develop Metal Gear Solid Game

After rumors sprung up about a new Metal Gear game from a GDC listing for ‘the “Next” MGS’ along with an image of Big Boss, most people assumed that MGS5 was in development at Kojima Productions Japan. Now, however, more job listings suggest the upcoming California-based Kojima Productions studio may actually be handling development of the game.

The previous job listings did mention California, but as Japan was also mentioned, it was assumed by most that Japan would be the main place of work for the development team. Multiple job adverts on Gamasutra, however, may point to the contrary – the body of the job listings are mostly the same, but they are listed as “Kojima Productions, San Mateo CA 94404 USA” and it also says “join our growing social gaming studio in the US!”

The Brand Manager for the new studio will also have to:

  • Build and strengthen “Metal Gear” as a global mega-hit franchise in all regions including North America, Japan, and Europe.
  • Responsible not only marketing and promotional activities, but also for high-level strategic brand-building and management of the Metal Gear franchise.

As in the GDC posts, the jobs are for full consoles and the PC, with one of the requirements being “experience with developing animation engines for PC and consoles such as PS3 or Xbox 360”.

Another thing that points towards it being a MGS title is where the listing for a Concept Artist says:

  • Create image boards and storyboards that bring Hideo Kojima’s game world to life

  • Strong design skills and the ability to create realistic original characters, mechas, and/or backgrounds

And the Senior Gameplay Programmer ad says:

Programming key character control routines to form the base core elements of fun in 3D action games.

With the team hiring for a Network Programmer that will be “developing core network gameplay functionality for online games (server-side and in-game)” it is also clear the game will have online.

Previously, Hideo Kojima has expressed interest in bringing Western developers to Kojima Productions, with the renowned developer saying at GDC ’09 (paraphrased by Wired): “Please visit us at Kojima Productions, he says to American and European game developers. For those people who want to join us, please stop by our recruitment booth at GDC.”

Unfortunately, with the US studio not set up yet, this could mean that development on the next MGS hasn’t even begun – although this could always be a side game like Rising. The team is hiring for enough people to be an independent studio and has high up positions like Senior Engine Programmer, Senior Animation Engine Programmer, Senior Gameplay Programmer and even a Composer, but it could also be that the team is only used for outsourcing and extra work, much like Sledgehammer helped out Infinity Ward – although any involvement by a Western developer would still be a huge change for MGS.

What do you think about the possibility of a US studio taking control of the next Metal Gear Solid? Share your thoughts in the comments below.