Konami has denied reports claiming that Hideo Kojima has left the company following the development of Metal Gear Solid V.
According to The New Yorker, Kojima left the publisher on October 9th, having worked there since 1986. A source who attended a farewell party for the designer said there was a “rather cheerful but also emotional goodbye”.
A photograph from the party has also emerged on 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
Kojima allegedly has a non-compete clause that runs until December, at which point he’ll be able to join another publisher or start his own studio.
Despite months of reports of a dispute between Kojima and Konami, with the designer consistently linked with a departure after the development of Metal Gear V, and claims that Kojima Productions has been closed and all console development bar Pro Evolution Soccer has been halted, Konami has denied the designer has left.
A spokesperson has told Tokyo Sports, as translated by Kotaku, that Kojima is currently “listed as a company employee”. It was added that the team was currently taking “a long time off from work” after the release of MGSV.
The spokesperson also claimed no knowledge of the leaving party, stating: “We’re not sure what kind of thing that was”.