Konami has denied Kojima has left the company, claiming the developer is actually on holiday.
The publisher has finally responded to reports that Hideo Kojima has left the company, instead suggesting the developer is on a lengthy vacation.
Konami has indicated that Kojima is in fact still an employee and is enjoying a well deserved break after the launch of Metal Gear Solid 5.
According to Japanese publication Tokyo Sports, translated by Kotaku, a Konami spokesperson said "currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee", before going to so say that extended leave is normal after such massive development projects.
"Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid 5 and are taking a long time off from work," the spokesperson said. "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."
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On October 19, it was reported that Kojima had parted ways with publisher Konami earlier this month.
Apparently around 100 guests attended a small leaving parting for Kojima, including former colleagues from other development studios.
Writer of the original New Yorker piece revealing Kojima's departure has tweeted a photograph from the event, just to provide some proof:
However, Konami's spokesperson said "we're not sure what kind of thing this was".
It's believed that Kojima is currently under a non-compete clause, which is due to expire in December. Although the specifics of said arrangement aren't quite clear, Kojima won't be able to join any other studio until the clause expires.