Konami Denies Hideo Kojima’s Departure – Says He is Just “Taking a Long Time Off From Work”
As reported yesterday, legendary video game designer and director Hideo Kojima allegedly left Konami, a video game developer and publisher, earlier this month, apparently confirming rumors that the Metal Gear creator would be moving on from the Japanese firm following the controversy between the company and the Kojima brand. But according to Konami, that is not the case. The company denied the report today, saying that Hideo Kojima is still an employee and is currently on a well-deserved vacation after finishing work on his recent project.
Konami Says Hideo Kojima is Still Part of the Company - Just On Vacation After Finishing Development Work on Metal Gear Solid V
You might have flipped through more than a few reports, rumors and stories all centered around the rift between Konami and Japanese video game development studio Kojima Productions in past months, but despite all the controversy, Hideo Kojima still stands an important part of the company, and is currently on hard-earned vacation after finishing development on Metal Gear Solid V. That is according to Konami itself. The company issued this statement today following a report from New Yorker suggesting that the famed game designer parted ways with the company on October 9th.
According to a Japanese site Tokyo Sports (translated by Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft), a spokesperson at Konami’s Tokyo headquarters denied reports of Kojima’s departure by saying that; “Currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee [at Konami].” He said the producer of several video game series is just on a lengthy vacation.“Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work.”
As for the “departure ceremony” that allegedly took place at Kojima Productions, and was attended by a hundred or so guests, one of which, kept unnamed, presented New Yorker with the details, Konami says that, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.” This long vacation might have something to do with Kojima’s contract that prevents him from working for anyone else until December. Though, Konami insisted, “Because the development time for console games is so long and fatigue builds up, it's common for employees to take extended periods of time off when development is finished."
Here's a Picture of Kojima Before Going on Vacation
While Konami says Hideo Kojima hasn't left the company and it has no idea about the reported farewell ceremony, Simon Parkin, who broke the original story, tweeted this photo of what he claims is the farewell party for Kojima on October 9th. Of course, this could be a photo from any old party, or one from a get together before the long vacation Konami speaks of. We can’t really say, but it does look like they are all wishing Kojima well.
Here is a photograph of Kojima's farewell party on October 9th at Konami, which Konami claims no knowledge of: pic.twitter.com/xgRUoYs5qt
— Simon Parkin (@SimonParkin) October 20, 2015
The spokesperson did not say whether or not Kojima has secured a new contract at the company, nor whether it is committed to maintain the 29-year partnership. Rumors regarding Kojima planning to leave the Japanese-based video game firm following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which hit shelves on September 1st started surfacing on the internet earlier this year. It could be that that technically both Parkin and Konami are correct. Kojima has in fact left, but that he is listed as an employee until his accrued time off (and a rumored non-compete clause) runs out. We can't take anything for sure until these lacking statements are replaced with more clear words and explanations.