Dave Cox about leaving Konami: ‘There wasn’t a vision at the top of the company about where they wanted to go’

In an interview with Eurogamer, Dave Cox and Enric Alvarez of Spanish studio Mercury Steam talked about their split with Konami.

In 2014, Dave Cox, who had worked at Konami for 17 years, left the company in pursuit of new ventures. “I don’t think Konami knew at that time what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go.” he said to Eurogamer. “They still obviously had Metal Gear in development. They still had PES in development. But there wasn’t a vision at the top of the company about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do.”

The following year, the CEO of Konami told Nikkei that the company would be focusing more on mobile. This seems in line with Dave Cox’ experiences at the time of the split. “Konami decided… let’s just say it wanted to go in a different direction in terms of development.” he told Eurogamer. “It’s one of the reasons why the studio I was heading up closed down. They wanted to move more into mobile. They wanted to do more development in Japan.”

However, this split does not mean Cox has bad memories of working with Konami. “Konami as a company was supportive of its development staff, its teams and its marketing people. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Konami, actually. I had a memorable 17 years working there.”

Konami-Office-Small

Cox and Alvarez also talked a bit about working with Hideo Kojima, who acted as a supervisor supporting both Lords of Shadow projects.

“He’s a guy who fully understands game development.” Alvarez said. “And he understood and shared our vision for Castlevania. He supported it. That’s it, period.”

Dave Cox: “Lords of Shadow 1 wouldn’t have got made without Kojima standing up and backing the team. It just simply wouldn’t have been done. Japan would not have allowed a western development team to handle a franchise like Castlevania.”

Kojima’s involvement was limited to a supporting role, as he did not want to interfere with game development too much. Dave Cox: “Pretty much from day one he said – I’ll never forget it – we were sat in a boardroom in Japan, he said: “This is MercurySteam’s project. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. I’m here to offer support. This is your vision. Get on with it. And if you need any help from me, just shout.”

Mercury Steam is currently working on a self published multiplayer game.

Source: Eurogamer

  • Batzi

    “Konami as a company was supportive of its development staff, its teams and its marketing people. I’ve got nothing bad to say about Konami, actually. I had a memorable 17 years working there.”

    • Tom

      need to remember this quote for all the MG survive haters

      • BurntFM

        I thought you meant this quote. ” there wasn’t a vision at the top of the company about where they wanted to go or what they wanted to do.”

        • LeGuy(CertifiedPIS)

          I think you must have misunderstood the quote
          “MercurySteam is currently working on a multiplayer game about extinguishing Burnt Fm”

      • Alex

        That was before Konami got a new CEO and shit hit the fan.

    • Lex Radu

      Further more hints that the split might be an elaborate bats**t crazy ruse made by Kojima, to further convey “The Phantom Pain” in TPP, and the “Starnding” in “Death Stranding” being a developer “Stranding” at another studio!

      • What hints are you referring to?

        • Lex Radu

          The fact that it doesn’t look like Konami is the “Cipher” we see them as, that there might not be Bad Blood between Kojima and Konami!

          • It seems both Cox and Kojima left as a result of Konami shifting development and restructuring as a whole.

          • Lex Radu

            …Roger that!

          • Johnno

            I think many people are jumping the gun here. I don’t see how just because David Cox had a good relationship with Konami, considering he’s an independent studio doing outsourced work for them in another part of the world, that this therefore means Konami isn’t treating its own employees in Japan poorly, or that somehow the strained relationship between Kojima and Konami doesn’t exist. Last time I checked an interview with Kojima recently revealed that he’s still gagged from speaking about the break up unlike David Cox, and new KojiPro employees include ex-Konami staff and new employees are trying to hide the fact that they’re working for Kojima from Konami. Does this indicate a nice company?

      • LeGuy(CertifiedPIS)

        You just went all Hannibal letter on my brain

    • No Place For Hayter

      HA!

    • Janeo

      It’s refreshing to hear a nice opinion about konami, I keep saying they aren’t as bad as people make them out to be and this guy worked there for 17 years, he doesn’t have to say anything good about them, he could easily jump on the bandwagon of hate and talk about how incompetent they are but he had no issues with his time there. Maybe some should reconsider their grudge toward konami

      • Johnno

        Ummm… no, it just means that Mercury Steam, a studio in Spain, working on an outsourced project, weren’t subject to the same shabby treatment as employees working directly for Konami in Japan.

        • Janeo

          Oh yeah because the Japanese konami are so evil because some rumours going around.

          • Gatsu

            Konami and how it treat personnel is messed up if you followed the news during the year.

          • Janeo

            I followed but none of the stuff that was reported can be confirmed, konami and kojima had a fallout and that happens in these types of businesses. What happened doesn’t make either side bad people.

          • Johnno

            Actually what we heard is actually a common practice in Japan where unable to fire employees they instead force them to leave by either making their work conditions terrible. A recent interview with Kojima even revealed that they were keeping quiet and new employees were hiding their identity from Konami. Some which commenters here discovered were ex-Konami. Does that sound like cordial relations to you? Especially given that Kojima still has a gag order and can’t talk about Konami unlike David Cox who can freely speak. There’s a lot of smoke and signs that the break up was bad, and Konami wanted to get rid of/scale back heavily the console division which often means trying to let go of staff. Even Koji Igarashi had bad things to say, and many devs have left Konami over the years. I recall that even the president of Square Enix expressed concerned over the Kojima/Konami situation. None of this was amicable. Lots of people part ways often and we see how that is handled well. Not the case here. Otherwise, like David Cox, you’d see Kojima and Konami frequently complimenting each other whenever the topic is brought up. They especially wouldn’t have allowed any negative press to surround themselves close to the launch of their game and the announcement of a new one. If you know anything about the industry and PR, this simply isn’t how things are done. What happened was bad, and Konami doesn’t want ANYONE talking. Which is why not only Kojima, but Shinkawa and others are reluctant to talk and new KojiPro hirees don’t want Konami to know they’re working for Kojima.

    • Lewis

      ‘Cause everyone’s expirience working for a company is the same and all those reports of Konami treating stuff poorly are just lies.

      • Batzi

        Nothing on that report is official.

        • Lewis

          Yeah, ’cause Konami CLEARLY doesn’t have a history of silencing people through layers. How much can you let Konami shit down your throat with all those excuses “There is no evidence”.

    • Alex

      That was before Konami got the new CEO and shit hit the fan.

  • wallbreaker

    The more I learn about Kojima the more I like the guy. I have yet to find one single person that met him personally and that wasn’t impressed by him. He seems to be very respectful of other people’s creative endevours, perhaps because he knows better than anyone else how difficult creation can be

  • Damn right.

  • Full Options

    THX Nyx. DAT Boss… 😀 “just shout !”

  • So that’s why they removed the Koji-Pro logo from the LoS1 re-release?

  • NotSoSubtleGeek

    “This is MercurySteam’s project. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes. I’m here to offer support. This is your vision. Get on with it. And if you need any help from me, just shout.”

    Like someone said down below, the more i learn about Kojima and other people’s reaction and thoughts after meeting him really really makes me respect him even more.

  • JoJo

    Unsurprising that there’s more nuance to Konami as a whole than fans would like to believe.

  • Eugene Voldo

    Today I’ve learned that Konami is a good guy. And Kojima is a good guy. Then why a lot of people here still thinking that Konami was a bad guy?

    “Here’s to you, Konami and pachislots
    Rest forever here in our hearts
    The last and final moment is yours
    That agony is your triumph.”

    • “Is there such a thing as an absolute, timeless enemy? There is no such thing, and never has been.”

    • Johnno

      Because of reports about how Konami treats its employees in Japan. Not surprising that Konami would have cordial relationships with another entirely different third party studio in Spain under completely different different management.

      Just sayin…

      • Eugene Voldo

        Well, there were also reports about Nicola and Bart actually killing someone at the time. But there was no substantial evidence to make these reports more believable. So in the end it’s up to you to decide who was right and who was wrong.

        “Here’s to you, Konami and pachislots
        Rest forever here in our hearts
        The last and final moment is yours
        That agony is your triumph.”

  • Biggy

    When they treated Hidro Kojima wrong I took it personally

  • Alex

    “Cox and Alvarez also talked a bit about working with Hideo Kojima, who acted as a supervisor supporting BOTH Lords of Shadow projects.”

    He got credit in the first one, his logo on the game, edited some trailers, etc. but nothing like that (in an official capacity) for the second game or Mirrors of Fate. Did he say Kojima basically played the same supporting role for both console games? I always suspected he helped with 2 because it really continued the first game’s vision. But it was probably rushed somewhat like MGSV because it seemed to have been much more ambitious than the final product. But the story and direction was intact like MGSV. I wonder if he helped with Mirror’s of Fate; it was more of a throwback but still had interesting story moments.

    • Dave Cox said this about the second game: “I would go and present the game to senior management in Japan, including Mr. Kojima, and got very strong, positive feedback.” So it sounds like Kojima was involved with that one as well. Not sure about Mirror of Fate.

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