The rumours have persisted for most of 2015, but it appears now that Kojima’s departure from the company has apparently been confirmed.
An article in the New Yorker reported that Kojima left the offices of Konami on 9 October, his contract being completed and finished for good. The article mentions how Kojima was celebrated with what they describe as a “departure ceremony.”
Kojima’s ceremony was a “cheerful but also emotional goodbye,” as described by the New Yorker’s anonymous source. Supposedly neither Konami’s president Hideki Hayawaka nor CEO Sadaaki Kaneyoshi were seen at the event.
This event was to mark the end of Kojima’s famed career with Konami, during which he was chiefly responsible for the Metal Gear Solid series. His last project with Konami was the recent MGS V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima’s success is little short of phenomenal–The Phantom Pain earned Konami $179 million on the day of its launch.
It is a fair assumption that Konami’s plan to move away from console gaming towards the mobile and arcade sectors is a likely influence on Kojima’s supposed departure.
However–to make matters even more confusing, Konami’s official word is that Kojima has not in fact left the company. Reports from Kotaku state that Kojima is very much still on Konami’s books.
A Konami spokesperson said that Kojima and his team are currently on a “long time” holiday after completing MGS V. They said that Konami “weren’t sure” what Kojima’s farewell party was supposed to be, despite it being posted on Twitter by journalist Simon Parkin.
The situation between Konami and Kojima is suspicious to say the least. With the uncertainty as to the unlikely future of Konami’s console portfolio and the total confusion about the employment of their superstar developer, it is easy to feel concerned about the company.