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The long-running drama revolving around game director Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami continues, with news coming out one day stating that the father of Metal Gear had finally left the company, only to be followed up by a report 24 hours later stating that he’s only on vacation.
The lead-up to Kojima’s departure from Konami has been a long, drawn out process. Rumblings that there was trouble in paradise began earlier this year, followed by announcements that, yes, Kojima would be departing from the company later this year.
The original report stated that Kojima would be with Konami until his contract expired at the end of this year. According to a report from The New Yorker yesterday morning, though, it appeared as though the director had jumped ship a bit early. According to this report, Kojima actually stepped out the door on Oct. 9, bidding farewell to the remaining staff and crew he spent his final years at Konami building Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain with.
Today, however, Kotaku is reporting that Kojima’s departure isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. In a statement to Tokyo Sports, Konami is reporting that Kojima is still listed as an employee and is merely on vacation. The Kotaku story even has a picture of Kojima’s supposed farewell party, which took place on Oct. 9.
Honestly, I think this one of those cases where neither side of the story is actually inaccurate. I’m sure that Kojima had plenty of vacation time stored up, considering how dedicated he has been to the development of The Phantom Pain. With the game out the door and the online portion up and running, he’s basically off of the project at this point. If his contract doesn’t run out for another couple of months, though, why would he bother kicking around an office he’s no longer doing legitimate work for?
This kind of stuff happens all the time when folks are gearing up to retire; setting their official date and then piling all of their vacation time just in front of it so the time doesn’t go to waste.
Either way the important thing to remember is that, in the long run, none of this matters. Whether Kojima is done with Konami now or in two months is irrelevant. Konami will have him listed as an employee until his contract runs out and then the guy will be free to go off and work on whatever catches his fancy.
As painful as this breakup was for the gaming community to watch unfold—what with the removal of Kojima’s name from marketing materials and the cancelation of the highly anticipated Silent Hills– it’s best that we’re finally moving toward a resolution. Then Konami can move on to focusing on mobile games and Kojima can enjoy a vacation (secret or otherwise) before finally diving into something wholly new.