Another chapter has been added to the bizarre situation between Hideo Kojima and his bosses at Konami. Yesterday The New Yorker published a story saying that Kojima had officially parted ways with the company earlier this month. Konami is now stating that this is not true and that Kojima is simply on vacation.
Kotaku reports on Konami’s response (because I don’t read Japanese) and according to the studio Kojima, and apparently the rest of the development team are taking an extended break following the release of Metal Gear Solid V. The author if the New Yorker piece, Simon Parkin has tweeted the photo below, which he says is from an October 9 farewell party.
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
When Konami was asked about the party they said, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.”
Now it’s also possible that this was a party for everybody, to celebrate a job well done on a highly touted game before several people left for an extended holiday. Though if that were the case you’d think that somebody at Konami would have been aware of it.
Of course, it’s also possible that both things are true. Kotaku’s sources say that Kojima’s contract with Konami runs through the end of the year. With less than three months left, and Kojima’s last major project complete, there’s probably little Kojima could do that is of use to the company, yet they still have to pay him through December. Konami isn’t the first employer to find themselves in this position. Sending the employee home to finish out his contract is not a new solution either. Technically he’s on vacation, and still an employee, so everything Konami said is true. But he won’t be coming back.
It’s also possible that Kojima made a unilateral decision to “go on vacation” for the remainder of his time. If nothing he had left to work on excited him, he may have just decided to use up all his vacation time before the contract ends. It’s not like Konami is going to fire him at this point.