Kojima Productions’ Ryan Payton has been talking with MTV Multiplayer and revealed the following: Solid Snake does indeed go into retirement, but we plan to milk the franchise a lot more.

“I think there’s been some misconceptions that this is the last ‘Metal Gear,’” said Payton. “This is really just the last chapter of the saga of the Solid Snake story.”

“[Solid Snake] was a burden [for Kojima] because of all those loose ends,” said Payton. “So when you play “Metal Gear Solid 4″ and when you get to the end, I think you’re going to feel that ‘wow, this is a nice closure.’ All of the weird stuff that’s gone on in the past, it’s all coming to an end. All those weird questions — everything is answered […]You can’t continue from this step. You can’t start next chapter. We really do close up the story.”

So that’s it: no more Solid Snake. Perhaps a new character is already under development at Kojima, with an announcement set to hit the news in the next year or so. Let’s just hope that the series won’t be driven into the ground the same disastrous way that other developers managed to do so well.

Either that or we already know the name of the replacement: Solid Mole.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots will be released on June 12 on PlayStation 3.