One of the biggest news stories during this generation of consoles has been the split between Hideo Kojima and Konami. If you’ve been living under a gaming news rock, it was a complicated affair that resulted in Kojima being ousted from the studio while rights to the Metal Gear franchise were retained by the company. Kojima went on untethered to begin work on his next masterpiece, Death Stranding, and Konami churned out Metal Gear Survive, an alternate-reality take on Metal Gear Solid V, using the same basic engine and gameplay while inserting survival elements and zombies. It’s getting mixed reviews from most outlets, though our own Tyler Treese seemed to like it quite a bit.
It seems like there are still those within Konami that support Kojima Productions, the developer originally responsible for Metal Gear that was disbanded following the big split. Kojima Productions lives on as Hideo Kojima’s independent new studio, founded in 2015 free from Konami. Keen eyed Metal Gear/Kojima fans have noticed a message in Metal Gear Survive that seems to offer a battlecry of sorts for Kojima’s old (and possibly his new) studio.
— Michael Yurko (@NourishedPsyche) February 24, 2018
Looking at the first letter of the second word in each codename, the list reads “KJP FOREVER.” KJP is an acronym used for Kojima Productions. There’s an even deeper theory that goes into this list, so put on your tinfoil hats. The first name on the list is Mosquito, a major player in the events that set off Metal Gear Solid V, listed as MIA. The following two names spell out the initials “MG” and both are listed as KIA, or Killed in Action. MG is thought to be an acronym for Metal Gear. The player’s chosen name creates the space in “KJP FOREVER,” and Bastard Yota and Cunning Yuji complete the list, references to Metal Gear Survive director Yota Tsutsumizaki and producer Yuji Korekado. Both are listed as AWOL, or Absent Without Leave.
Breaking it down, Mosquito could be in honor of Metal Gear Solid V, listed as MIA. MG being listed as KIA seems to be a reference to the Metal Gear franchise now being dead. KJP FOREVER is an obvious shout out to Kojima and his studio, putting the player right in the middle. Ending the list with Bastard Yota and Cunning Yuji as AWOL is a bit more cryptic. Are those name insults to the director and producer? Did this individual feel that they went AWOL from the original Metal Gear vision? Is it simply a fun Easter egg with no malicious intent?
Some fans have pointed out that the list is simply the names of the insane wandering soldiers from Phantom Pain, and that Metal Gear Survive is simply reusing old content that had a rousing hurrah to Kojima Productions within it. If someone within Konami who worked on Metal Gear Survive was trying to send a message, they succeeded. If not, the Metal Gear Survive hidden message is some kind of amazing coincidence. Either way the conspiracy goes, it’s got people talking, and it doesn’t get much more Metal Gear than that.