Responding to a report from the New Yorker that Hideo Kojima left the company on October 9 after a farewell party, Konami is saying he’s merely on vacation and is currently “listed as a company employee [at Konami].”
In a statement sent to Tokyo Sports (translated by Kotaku), Konami said, “Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work.” Konami later added, “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.”
As for the farewell party mentioned in the New Yorker’s report, Konami said, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.”
However, Simon Parkin, who wrote the New Yorker piece, tweeted this image:
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
Kotaku adds that a source close to Konami previously said Kojima’s contract expires in December.