In fact, they’re pretty adamant that he’s still listed as an employee, still on their payroll and is, actually, just on vacation.
According to CGM, who translated the article by Tokyo Sports, Konami has stated that, “Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work.”
Perhaps it’s the sort of vacation you never return from, an indefinite hiatus of sorts, because the journalist of the original story that Kojima lad left, Simon Parker of The New Yorker, disputes Konami’s claim, having even provided evidence via Twitter.
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
Okay, so it’s circumstantial evidence at best; that gathering could be for anything. But it’s far better than what Konami has provided us with, bupkis.
Having been shown the image of the farewell party, see above, Konami said, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.” “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,” Konami insists.
After going out of their way to all but erase Kojima from the annals of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, they must be nuts to expect him to stick around.
This is Konami, however; they’ve started to go a little loopy of late.