Konami have now refuted reports that Hideo Kojima has left the company, and is an employee simply on extended leave following the publication of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Kotaku translated a statement from a Konami spokesperson to Japanese publication Tokyo Sports, which read that Kojima was currently “listed as a company employee,” and that his form of holiday is common after lengthy development projects.
They went on to state that the entire team is just “taking a long time off from work,” as “development time for console games is so long and fatigue builds up.” In essence, they are denying that Kojima has left the company at all.
Konami said nothing on whether Kojima had a fresh contract set up following the expiration of his non-compete in December, or whether they wanted to continue with the Japanese auteur as part of the studio at all.
The leaving event reported to the New Yorker by Simon Parkin was decried, with the spokesperson simply stating that “we’re not sure what kind of thing this was.” Following this denial, Parkin released the below image of the gathering of around 100 employees.
Whatever their claims, this along with the previous insights into the Kojima v Konami fall out still make it difficult to believe that he still remains a part of the company. The removal of his name on Phantom Pain box art, the cancellation of his new project Silent Hills and the claims by Japanese Snake’s voice actor that Kojima Productions had closed its doors all seem to point him away from the publishing giant.
Whatever happens, stay tuned to Gamespresso to follow the latest news.