By Chris Melchin / October 20th, 2015
The New Yorker has released a report saying that legendary creator Hideo Kojima has left publisher Konami, effective October 9, 2015.
That day a departure ceremony was held, and over 100 guests attended; however, it is noteworthy that neither Konami president Hideki Hayakawa nor CEO Sadaaki Kaneyoshi were present at the event. One guest told The New Yorker that the event was “rather cheerful, but also emotional”, and it marked the end of Kojima’s 29-year tenure at Konami, where he started in 1986. During this time, starting in 1987, Kojima created the Metal Gear franchise which went on to become his best-known work. He also worked on other projects including Snatcher, Policenauts and Zone of the Enders. His last work for Konami was Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and the attached Metal Gear Online, with The Phantom Pain launched on September 1 and Online beginning service on October 6. The news comes in the wake of much turmoil within Konami, such as the dissolution of Kojima Productions, Kojima’s name being removed from The Phantom Pain’s box art, and the new working conditions within the company.
Kojima did not say anything to The New Yorker, as per a legally binding agreement with Konami. The newspaper also stated that Kojima has a non-compete clause expiring in December, after which he can freely go find a new employer to develop games outside of Konami.
UPDATE: Konami has denied The New Yorker‘s reports of Kojima leaving the company, claiming that Kojima and the development team are “taking a long time off from work”. The company told Tokyo Sports that “Currently, Kojima is still listed as an employee [at Konami]”. As for the farewell ceremony, they are “not sure what kind of thing this was”.
We have reached out to Konami for comment on the situation.
Hideo KojimaKojima ProductionsKonamileaves KonamiMetal Gear