Not long after Metal Gear Survive was announced, series creator Hideo Kojima distanced himself from the project, stating that zombies didn’t fit his vision for the franchise. While Kojima may have had nothing to do with the its development, that hasn’t stopped him from being referenced in the game.
At the beginning of Metal Gear Survive, players see a list of agent codenames, which is how they name their own avatar in the game. As spotted by Twitter user Michael Yurko, the first letter of the last names on the list spell out “KJP FOREVER” – KJP being an often-used acronym for the original incarnation of Kojima Productions at Konami.
The same acronym can be seen later on, but in reverse. Check out the KJP FOREVER images right here:
Am I the only one who saw “KoJima Productions FOREVER?” using the first letter of the highlighted code names? @HEITAIs #MetalGearSurvive #MGSurvive pic.twitter.com/NrYGVmwm8J
— Michael Yurko (@NourishedPsyche) February 24, 2018
While it’s possible that this is just a coincidence, the Metal Gear series is known for having hidden easter eggs, and few things in the games are there by accident. Even though Kojima isn’t at the helm, it’s reasonable to assume that his former staff members may be looking to carry on that aspect of the franchise’s legacy in Metal Gear Survive.
If this acronym was put in the game on purpose, it could be a way for the development team to silently protest the treatment of Kojima and the direction Konami is currently going in. In recent years, Konami has largely stopped developing video games outside Metal Gear and Pro Evolution Soccer to focus on other ventures, such as pachinko machines. This along with controversial decisions like barring Kojima from accepting an award for Metal Gear Solid 5 at The Game Awards and cancelling Silent Hills have painted Konami in a negative light.
There have also been accusations that Konami has a toxic work environment, which could be another reason why the game’s development team seemingly slipped in this rebellious reference. Whatever the reason, it will be interesting to see if this discovery leads to other Kojima easter eggs being found in Metal Gear Survive.
Metal Gear Survive is out now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.