Kojima left Kojima Productions on Friday, October 9. A departure ceremony was held for the Metal Gear Solid creator with about 100 guests in attendance, but Konami president Hideki Hayakawa or CEO Sadaaki Kaneyoshi were not present. It was a “rather cheerful, but also emotional goodbye,” one guest told The New Yorker. Kojima had been an employee of the company for 29 years—since 1986.
Kojima declined to speak with The New Yorker, citing a legally binding agreement with his previous employer. The New Yorker also notes that Kojima has a non-compete clause that will expire in December. After it expires, Kojima will be free to find a new studio and continue making games elsewhere.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and the bundled Metal Gear Online are Hideo Kojima’s last productions at Konami and Kojima Productions. The former shipped on September 1, while the latter launched on October 6.
Update 10/20/15 at 1:40 a.m.: Konami has denied that Kojima has left the company. According to Tokyo Sports, via Kotaku, a Konami spokesperson told the outlet that, “Currently, Kojima is a listed as a company employee [at Konami].”
The statement continued, “Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work.”
Regarding the farewell party, Konami replied, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.”
Update 10/20/15 at 8:00 a.m.: Journalist Simon Parkin has posted a photograph of Hideo Kojima’s farewell party, which Konami claims it has no knowledge of.