Metal Gear Solid Voice Actress: Hideo Kojima was Fired by Konami [UPDATE]

metal gear solid 3 04-09-15-1

[UPDATE on April 12th, 2015]

Donna Burke has redacted her claims, or rather clarified that she didn’t mean to say that Hideo Kojima was fired, she only wanted to plead with fans to not cancel their pre-orders or avoid buying Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain because of the debacle between Konami and Kojima Productions.

She posted her message on her official Facebook page:

I agree, Konami- I should be more accurate.

“Don’t throw away the last 5 years because Konami changed the contract status of a genius”

Konami is correct in that Kojima has not actually been fired. As I stated previously he and his team are still working hard on getting the game out. My sincere apologies to Konami, Hideo Kojima and the fans for giving the wrong impression.

I was trying to add my voice to Otsuka-san pleading with the fans to not abandon MGSV because of the stuff happening at Konami and to throw my support behind Kojima and everyone who has worked over the last five years and is working to make this game the greatest ever.

This is true. Kojima himself confirmed in a statement that he was still “100% involved” in the completion of The Phantom Pain, and was “determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date.”

So my apologies for upsetting you all. — Donna Burke


Donna Burke, the voice actress who lent her talents to Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, has spoken out (via VideoGamer) regarding the entire debacle between Hideo Kojima and his publisher, Konami. According to her, Kojima has been “fired” by Konami:

“Yes don’t throw away the Kojima teams work over the last 5 years because upper management fired a genius,” wrote Burke on her personal twitter. When asked whether or not that was a confirmation that Kojima was indeed fired, she replied. “Yes but it’s been out in the media for weeks..but it’s true.”

Konami has since responded to these statements, telling VideoGamer that Donna’s claims are “categorically incorrect.” The wording of this is very interesting, as this could be chalked up to many interpretations.

For those in need of a refresher – we’ve been following the developments behind Metal Gear Solid creator and mastermind Hideo Kojima, who has been rumored to be parting ways with Konami, due to altercations with his team, Kojima Productions, and the upper management at Konami.

We’ll keep you guys posted.

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Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic

  1. Unusual Pickle
    Unusual Pickle
    April 9, 2015 at 10:40 am

    Well, it’s probably something insane in Kojima’s rider, like he demands a bowl full of only green M&Ms and a blue one snuck in and he had a giant shit-fit and they decided they couldn’t stand him anymore. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was M&Ms specifically in this case.

  2. Demetirus
    April 9, 2015 at 10:45 am

    I do think it’s odd that the stories are conflicting between Konami and this voice actress, but I do believe that when they say that what she said was ‘Categorically Incorrect’ they’re denying everything she said on the matter.

  3. Cy
    April 9, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I don’t think we’re gonna learn anything concrete until after TPP launches, but personally I doubt that he’s actually fired. Until Konami themselves says that he’s no longer with the company, I’m just gonna keep disregarding all these rumors and not get worked up about it.

  4. JackDandy
    April 9, 2015 at 11:03 am

    What if this is all another ruse by Hideo? ;_;

    April 9, 2015 at 11:10 am

    If I was a share holder at that company I would be calling for the heads of all upper management at that long sinking ship. Not just for slaughtering their last remaining golden goose, but for the decade long policy of slaughtering all their golden geese.

  6. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    April 9, 2015 at 11:14 am

    I still say firing kojima (or however they want to word it) is basically company suicide. I mean let’s be real here Konami isn’t getting by because of Castlevania or Goemon sales here and MGS is one of those series where the “director” is more important than the publisher/developer studio. Without Kojima MGS is not going to sell as much.

  7. DariusQ
    April 9, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I’m confident enough that Kojima got fired and that Konami would like to cover that up. Reminds me of when Itagaki left Tecmo.

  8. Neojames82
    April 9, 2015 at 11:21 am

    I wouldn’t say he was fired either, more like what they do in Japan and gave him the “window seat” option. Which is pretty much you are still in the company but you pretty much have no say in what you do and are just a low rank nobody in the company. Either that or you force you to resign.

    That is pretty much what happened to Gunpei Yokoi at Nintendo when the Virtual Boy bombed big time or currently with Yoshio Sakamoto when Metroid: Other M was a huge failure.

  9. Kelohmello
    April 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Voice Actors for games tend to say alot of things about the goings on of development when they don’t actually know anything. I doubt he actually got fired. That’s a move i’m confident Konami wouldn’t take against someone who’s done so much for them.

  10. Random Marine
    Random Marine
    April 9, 2015 at 11:26 am

    Who knows what really happened….Kojima wouldn’t be fired for nothing….

  11. Jack Ripper
    Jack Ripper
    April 9, 2015 at 11:32 am

    Damn somebody actually remembers Goemon series.

    Screw Konami for killing the series. MGS is good as dead as well now that Kojima got fired. It’s company suicide.

  12. Jack Ripper
    Jack Ripper
    April 9, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Considering all the stupid things Konami has been doing, would it really surprise anyone that Konami did something stupid again?

    As others have said, most likely he wasn’t fired, but he was probably moved to a division he didn’t like, so he had no choice but to resign.

  13. Swirly Twirl
    Swirly Twirl
    April 9, 2015 at 11:38 am

    This is how I think it happened.
    Konami didn’t like the fact that it’s biggest series would end because Kojima wanted it to be.
    The loss of the Metal Gear series would mean loss of investors and money.
    So they dumped Kojima to make more without him.
    Needless to say this was pretty expected since Kojima said it would be the last Metal Gear solid game.

  14. NuclearCherries
    April 9, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    If this is true, then Konami are a bunch of fools.
    They are actively killing all of their franchises, and the people who make them.

  15. RetroGamer
    April 9, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    Goemon on the N64 had one of most epic intros ever.

  16. Fenrir7
    April 9, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    I thought he was more of a Reese’s Pieces guy?

  17. tccboss
    April 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Face it Konami you fired Kojima and you are facing the repercussions.

  18. Juhata
    April 9, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    That’s gotta hurt. For Konami.
    I still wish the best for Kojima. I feel like he’s one of the very few AAA devs nowadays who makes good games and actually cares about the games.

  19. iamarchaeus
    April 9, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Donna Burke is a singer and not a voice actress…

  20. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    April 9, 2015 at 4:05 pm

    Her voice was used for the iDroid in Ground Zeroes. She does a few songs for the games though, yeah

  21. ManWithTheGoldenPun
    April 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I really do wonder why Kojima was fired, since he’s the only thing that’s keeping Konami relevant.

    Maybe there was a diva moment on one side, or Konami thought “Fuck Kojima, we can make better Metal Gears without him, thanks to Fox Engine!”

  22. Takua343
    April 9, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    heres how I see it. They fired him, and are desperate to cover it up until after MGSV comes out in fear that if people know, they wont make profit. which begs the question why the fuck did they fire him when they KNOW he’s the last person left whose team is worth a damn? this is suicide on their part no matter how you look at it

  23. Takua343
    April 9, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    whoever picos him up after this better be smart enough to let him do his thing. I hope Capcom hires him, they desperately need talent that wont let them walk all over him

  24. landlock
    April 9, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    She’s both. She does VA work as well as songs.

  25. landlock
    April 9, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    If I was MS. I’d be doing whatever it takes to get his services

    behind the scenes at the moment. i.e. letting him make whatever the hell he wants next.

  26. TheCynicalReaper
    April 9, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    Kojima being fired is the best and worst thing that could happen.
    It’s the worst since Konami has next to no one helming any promising projects without him and fewer with the tenacity of Kojima to see them through. MGS will die like Silent Hill, though unlike SH, MGS was already dying after Kojima shit out MGS4

    And that’s the flip-side, because now Kojima has NO ONE to blame for his egotistical bullshit coming out like a log. Now he is unchained, and no one, not even the fans, will be a viable scapegoat for him.

    Now Kojima will either retire or be forced to create a new IP, and when he does, it will inevitably confirm what everyone who doesn’t like Kojima already knows. His ego will be demolished for all the world to see, and he will finally have to own up to it instead of blaming the management or the fanbase.
    __That or he proves he really is a genius who just so happened to repeat the same gameplay/narrative formula of the MGS series not because he’s a hack but because that’s how he envisioned it.

  27. TheCynicalReaper
    April 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    tl;dr Kojima will now have to prove himself on his own, and whatever the outcome, we’ll know him for the type of artist he is.
    Konami, meanwhile, will continue to flail into the mobile industry

  28. Jack Ripper
    Jack Ripper
    April 9, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I’m not that big a fan of MGS nor Kojima, but I think the man has proven himself to be more than capable of being an amazing artist.

    Ever played Snatcher or Policenauts? Both games are, at least, artistically well thought out games and these were created before all the MGS milking.

  29. Guilherme
    April 9, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Dude, MGS4 was cool. Lots of cutscenes, yes. But it was pretty good.

  30. Zombie_Barioth
    April 9, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Wasn’t Yokoi already planning to leave though? The Virtual Boy was supposed to be a parting gift of sorts.

    I agree though, I have a feeling the reason they claimed it was “categorically incorrect” is because he was given a choice to walk away, so he wasn’t “fired” he just quite, or he’s independent now like Sakurai was when he originally left Nintendo.

  31. Wand
    April 10, 2015 at 5:23 am

    I can already see a Third Person Shooter MGS with a retarded plot trying to imitate Kojima’s making its way to the shelves in 2016

  32. Mr. Despair
    Mr. Despair
    April 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Not to mention Zone of the Enders and Solar Boy Django. Both really cool games.

  33. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    April 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Yep, amazing artist. Shame he’s a bland game designer and this is something way more important in the videogame industry.

  34. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    April 10, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Retarded plot in a MGS game? News at 09:00

  35. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    April 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    “actually cares about the games.”

    Do you know everyone who make games? No.

  36. Carlos Roberto
    Carlos Roberto
    April 10, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Bravo. I still laugh when I remember MGS4’s plot holes.

  37. ConnorORT
    April 13, 2015 at 1:21 am

    MGS fans, you can have free hugs from us Silent Hill fans. We know the full range of feels.

  38. Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia
    Miguel Angel Opazo Arancibia
    April 13, 2015 at 4:47 am

    They fired him. They just scold her and make her correct herself AKA lie for PR.

  39. Keinart
    April 13, 2015 at 6:05 am

    It took longer than expected for Konami to make Donna damage control herself. They may have fired their ninjas too?

    It’s obvious Kojima is fired, he’s just under contract till the game releases.

  40. Trepie
    April 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    Yeah, I don’t get the MGS4 hate. Maybe these guys had 360’s last gen. The game was cutscene heavy sure, and so if you hate that you won’t have a good time, but the story was absolutely fantastic.

  41. Thanatos2k
    April 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    lol at the “retraction”

    We know exactly what happened here.