Please stop toying with our emotions like this, Konami. Yesterday, The New Yorker reported that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima officially parted ways with Konami on October 9th, following a farewell party at his in-house studio, Kojima Productions. Today, Konami denied Kojima’s departure to Japanese site Tokyo Sports, as translated by Kotaku. “Currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee,” a Konami spokesperson said, according to the translation. Apparently, the spokesperson said that Kojima and the team that developed Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain are all taking a long vacation. And that reported farewell party? “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was,” Konami’s spokesperson said.
In response to Konami’s claims, New Yorker contributor Simon Parkin (author of the original “Kojima has left the building” story) shared a photo of the purported goodbye celebration at Kojima Productions.
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
Konami didn’t mention how long the Phantom Pain team’s time off will be, though Parkin reports that Kojima is contracted until December. Perhaps that’s also when his reported vacation will end. Farewell party, vacation or otherwise, Kojima’s time with Konami is coming to an end — after nearly three decades with the studio, this year Konami removed Kojima’s name from the Phantom Pain box art and canceled Silent Hills, a highly anticipated horror game from Kojima and horror director Guillermo del Toro, among other odd moves.
Konami has yet to respond to our requests for comment, but we will update this story if we hear anything.