Kojima Is on Vacation and Still an Employee, Says Konami

Publisher claims reports of Metal Gear creator's departure are not accurate.

151 Comments

Konami has responded to a detailed report which revealed that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has left the company. The publisher suggests that he is still employee and on a lengthy vacation, following the protracted development of Metal Gear Solid V.

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According to Japanese publication Tokyo Sports, which has been translated by Kotaku, a Konami spokesperson said "currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee," and went on to say the extended leave was normal for console game development projects.

"Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work," the representative said. "Because the development time for console games is so long and fatigues builds up, it’s common for employees to take extended periods of time of when development is finished."

The publisher did not say whether or not Kojima had secured a new contract at the company, nor whether it wanted to maintain the 29-year partnership.

On Monday it was reported that Kojima parted ways with Konami earlier in the month. Around one hundred guests attended a small leaving ceremony, including former colleagues from other studios. Addressing this event, the Konami spokesperson said "we're not sure what kind of thing this was."

Simon Parkin, writer of the original New Yorker piece confirming Kojima's departure, has since released an image of this farewell gathering.

It is believed Kojima has a non-compete clause that expires in December, which correlates to previous reports. Although the specifics of the arrangement aren't clear, this means Kojima will not be able to enter into new partnerships until this after this period.

GameSpot has contacted Konami for clarification on the matter.

In March, GameSpot first reported that Kojima was set to leave the company. Sources revealed the Japanese auteur would part ways with Konami following the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which was released on September 1.

In July, the Japanese voice actor for Metal Gear Solid's Snake stated that Kojima Productions no longer existed as a development studio. This followed the cancellation of Silent Hills, and the removal of Kojima's name from The Phantom Pain's box art.

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Avatar image for Senor_Kami
Senor_Kami

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"According to Japanese publication Tokyo Sports, which has been translated by Kotaku, a Konami spokesperson said "currently, Kojima is listed as a company employee," and went on to say the extended leave was normal for console game development projects."

I'm sure that's true, but it's also common to keep someone technically still be on payroll, but they've submitted their resignation and they're just getting paid for their accrued leave time like a normal paycheck on the regular paycheck cycle. I've seen that and just sloppy HR not changing statuses in the system at my job.

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Andrex1212

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I still haven't bought Phantom Pain because I can't get over David Hayter not being part of it. I could barely get through an hour of Ground Zeroes with Jack Bauer as Big Boss. I WANT to play the fucking game, but I can't do it... I have been playing since MGS1, I have played every single entry in the series, watched almost every interview with David Hayter, watched all kinds of fan-related material and all of the video content of the franchise. How, after 18 years, am I supposed to accept a change like that for the main protagonist of the franchise? Ughh....

And on top of it, all of the Konami related bullshit makes it that much harder to want to buy the game. I think the only way I will ever end up playing it is if I get it used for $40 or less... And I was so damn happy about a new game coming out when it was announced.... Up until I heard the rumblings of David Hayter not being a part of it. Hell, I have teared up from a few games in the franchise with how poignant and powerful some of the scenes were. I full on cried at the end of MGS 4. That was powerful stuff there! It makes me sad that I can't enjoy this one...

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DBZKING1234

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@Andrex1212: You're not missing much. MGSV is pretty bad. I wasn't going to buy it either after the way they treated Hayter, but I ended up getting a copy when I bought a new GPU. Very underwhelming and disappointing.

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Lightposte

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@DBZKING1234:
I agree about Hayter. They could've at least made him voice Big Boss and edited it a little so that he won't be too recognizable and have Kiefer voice Venom.
If I'm not mistaken, the Japanese voice actor got to keep his role in this game.

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Lightposte

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Edited By Lightposte

@Andrex1212:

Lol!

I'm also a David Hayter fan but after finishing MGSV, I can say that Kiefer's voice acting is pretty outstanding even if he doesn't talk that much. I think his dialogues sounded slightly better than the other characters.

In fact, I feel satisfied about the decision to have Kiefer voice Venom Snake and I'm now glad it wasn't Hayter.

I can't imagine Hayter delivering certain emotional lines in the game and sound as natural as Kiefer did. I'd probably just grimace if it was Hayter who said those lines.

David Hayter = Solid Snake, Naked Snake, Big Boss

Kiefer Sutherland = Venom Snake/Big Boss Phantom

Give the game a go and try not to stop playing mid-way because it's not David Hayter, that would be foolishness.
By the end of the game, you'll know why David Hayter can't/shouldn't voice this game's Snake.

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Andrex1212

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@Lightposte:

Yeah, a friend of mine at work actually explained to me why David Hayter wouldn't have been able to voice the main character of MGS V... So at least there was a reason for it... I tried Ground Zeroes though and found that game to just not feel like an MGS game so I found it nearly impossible to want to spend the $79.99 on Phantom Pain :/

One of these days if a good enough sale comes up on Steam... Here's hoping! haha

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Andrex1212

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Man you guys clearly need some better proofreading... The amount of mistakes in this one article is astounding...

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SterlingFox

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The biggest joke in the topic is how they said that the development of MGS5 is finished despite the fact that we got a clearly unfinished product.

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DullahansXMark

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If Kojima really does get his job offered back to him, I really hope he doesn't take it. Konami's greedy nonsense butchered an almost flawless game and they should be made to pay for that, not profit from it.

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Eraldus

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All the work of The Patriots

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redhouse3

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Needs to take his rest and come back and finish something left unfinished.....Silent Hills!!!

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Scarf0

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Their claiming Kojima's still with the company, even though his farewell party pics are all over twitter. Konami is sull of fhit!

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Verityrant

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Edited By Verityrant

My theory on how this went down;

During TPP development:

Konami: OMG you spent how much!?!?!

Kojima: I've made one of the most badass games ever, you need to trust me, it will be a blockbuster.

Konami: We've had it up to here with your expensive "vision" and "masterpieces"! That's it, you are FIRED!!!

Kojima: OK fine, you weren't paying me shit anyway, and I am tired of being unappreciated by your unambitious asses!

After release, reviews, and accolades of TPP:

Kojima: I am very pleased all of you liked my game, and I look forward to what future opportunities my departure from Konami will bring. Thank you all for your support over the years (exept Konami).

Fanbase: Please NO this game is SOOO good, the story is chopped all to hell because Konami lost faith and cut it up, but the gameplay and open world are the next generation we've been waiting for. PLEASE MAKE MORE AND TAKE OUR MONEY!!!!!

Konami: Hmmm....Umm Kojima isn't fired *pfft* where'd you even get that from? He's on "vacation" which is normal after a big development, not at all laid off with the rest of his team the hot minute we didn't think we needed them anymore *nervous laugh*. Seriously, Kojima is on vacation and looking forward to returning to work with a huge salary increase and our full support of his vision and masterpieces! *wink nod wink*.

My two cents.

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Lightposte

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@Verityrant:
If only Kojima could take the franchise with him and open up his own studio/company. :-(

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jenovaschilld

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Lol, too funny. Konami is going all mobile Chinese games anyway. I really hope they sale off some of their IPs to some hungry new developers that will not only put out the games but put alot of love in them instead of focus group testing.

Especially Suikoden series.

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derceto

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Are Konami's 100% bullshit PR statements even worth reporting on anymore? We're creating articles to spread, what everyone knows, are Konami's lies?

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deactivated-5c0b07b32bf03

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Quite honestly this whole thing has me baffled. At first I joked that it was a troll of some sort, but now I'm not so sure. It feels like we're being mentally f_cked with here.

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DivineJester

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Koijma is gone after december, even if they offered him a new contract he shouldn't take it.

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cojuelodevil

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Edited By cojuelodevil

He is good but he also have a huge budget to work with an a incredible team behind him so is not fare to get all the credit, I'll love to see him coming up with something different than MG and see if he fall flat.

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Poison-tooth

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Getting laid-off with a non-compete clause is not exactly a vacation.

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Thanatos2k

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Spare us the lies, Konami.

**** Konami.

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BenjaminBanklin

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Edited By BenjaminBanklin

It's just a really long vacation where he doesn't actually work there anymore... got it.

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Stiler

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Seriously, if Sony were smart they would offer Kojima + Del Toro to come work for them and build their horror game together.

They could simply change the title of the game and remove any connections to "Silent Hills" and still make it.

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NIckEs

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@Stiler: I'm guessing that would be infringement still. Filing off the brand logo from your phone doesn't make it a different gadget.

Not saying Kojima and Del Toro (and Reedus too) are barred from making horror themed games forever, just that substantial likeness to the Silent Hills would likely get them some issues with Konami. The thing is we don't really know what "Silent Hills" is--I mean, the game was in its "embryonic" stage and it was also announced that it wasn't tied to the P.T. storywise, plus the game was also said to be detached to the franchise in terms of story. Only Konami, Kojima and Del Toro have the vision of the game's story, imagery and probably even gameplay. So the two are better off making an entirely new horror game.

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Stiler

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@nickes: As long as they do not use any assets or anything that they built while at Konami they can still make a horror themed game.

They just have to start from scratch in terms of development and tweak the story to have no silent hills connections.

Kojima's non-compete is over in December, so they could start on it once that's over.

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cornbredx

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If this non compete clause ends in Dec that would be a decent vacation time. Then I'm pretty certain he can work where ever he wants doing whatever he wants. At least on one game. I'm sure 30 some odd years of Metal gear development would give him that much.

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Attitude2000

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I'm confused. They take his name off his Magnum Opus (I could be using this word wrong) but they say he isn't leaving?

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LouiXIII

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Damage control lol

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DarkWolfx12

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Edited By DarkWolfx12

LOL What the hell is this? It has to be a total marketing strategy.

Why isn't Hideo Kojima responded to anything on the news?

Why hasn't he come out and let us know what's really happening?

My guess is that, he's enjoying his vacation and enjoying all the profits, and he is going to come back and announce his staying (for an increase), it's all planned out, it has to be.

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wexorian

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Edited By wexorian

well they wan't to keep him so he could make some adult arcade poker strip game where Heroines or heroes of metal gear will be models i guess, Konami just sell some undone franchises to some other companies, give silent hill to namco, warner brothers or some other company , that's not milking their franchises and pes to sony or even activision "i'l regret writing activision".

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nini200

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Kojima has a fanbase that will follow and defend him to the grave is what I've learned from all this.

Konami used to be a top level company back when I was growing up with the Ninja Turtles, Castlevanias, Contras, Mystical Ninjas/Goemons, etc but as of late, they have become jerks for sure however I'm not going to defend Kojima either as I don't know what happened in the midst of all of this.

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BarcaAzul

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I think it's normal that he is officially on the payroll until the non compete finishes though.

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NTM23

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Edited By NTM23

Konami and Kojima should just be trolling us... So we can have a better conclusion and bridge between games (story wise) with MGS6.

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Barighm

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So...they have no knowledge of a farewell party they threw him? Yeah, can't trust anything Konami says.

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izuro

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What the hell is up with Konami, why are they being so cryptic? I know that there's probably a bunch of legal bull%$# involved in this but why lie and be weird. That photo doesn't really say anything, it's just a bunch of people having some sort of office toast but still...

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JIMDOG4442002

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Still an employee till December?

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the_master_race

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Konami , don't you have any dignity at all !? sure you don't have any ... **** U

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Eloguvna

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Edited By Eloguvna

A very long vacation after which he'll be fired? It's like watching a house on fire and its owner telling people that everything will be just fine.

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suicidesn0wman

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@sol_pro: Come on, you can do better than that... at least try.

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mrbojangles25

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Konami is a huge corporation

Kojima is a primadonna.

The two generally do not work well together, as one want's products made, while the latter wants to be both an "artist" and a "rockstar".

Hopefully Kojima comes to his senses, comes back to reality, and sticks with Konami as they have the resources and track record to support the games he wants to develop.

Though it would be cool to see Kojima come work for a Western developer (I heard rumors of Naughty Dog?), but at the same time I pity whomever has to work with him.

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suicidesn0wman

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@mrbojangles25: Kojima at ND sounds like a disaster. Let him run his own studio away from Konami who have given up on AAA game dev for consoles to focus on mobile and pachinko machines.

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GSGuy321

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It was all a ruse to sell more MGSV.

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Unreal849

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@GSGuy321: If anything, wouldn't this discourage sales?

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ggregd

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@unreal849: It would. People won't pre-order the DLC if they know he's not involved so they maintain the farce as long as possible.

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Dr_Josh

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This is like the video game equivalent of parents telling a child that their dog has gone to a farm. Only we're all old enough to realize that there is no farm, and Spot is dead.

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Unreal849

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News: "Kojima found dead at the bottom of the lake"

Konami: "He's fine, he's just scuba diving!"

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GunEye

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Edited By GunEye

I am sick of this Kojima-Konami soap opera marketing buzz. The way they both shoved their annoying faces into every mission start/end is obnoxious, disgusting even.

I am a big fan of MGS and of Kojima's work. I am only 34% into the 5th game with hundreds of hours already and I'm loving it. However I can't ignore nor stand how Kojima (not just Konami) deliberately changed the MGS formula. Such a radical change it loses its trademarks: removing the characters name + voice actor upon first reveal (was clearly present in TPP's trailers as well as GZ). The looong fascinating cut-scenes and massive frequent chatter of the radio. The lack of a talking main character and complex story delivery... these was replaced by the silly Mission Credits in the chopper ride - that literally spoil the story scenes (guest starring Skull Face etc..). The frequent speedy shoving of every lead developer whos so full of himself on every mission. It spoils the immersion, not to mention the many Konami messages, server information etc.Cut content (so I hear) and in my opinion cut maps/regions.

Seriously this is no doubt an amazing game, probably one of the best ever made and the best of 2015 and many years to come and go, but the marketing that surrounds it have had it's toll on the final product.

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