Update 1: A Konami PR representative has confirmed Hideo Kojima’s departure and that Kojima’s contract with Konami has expired.
Update 2: Hideo Kojima also confirmed his departure on Twitter, writing, "My employment contract with Konami has been terminated as of Dec 15th, so today marks a new start for me. I’m committed to be involved in creative activities for as long as I live."
A video from PlayStation officially announced their partnership with Kojima as well as revealing his new independent studio bearing the Kojima Productions name. Joining him will be former co-workers from Konami including Yoji Shinkawa (mechanical and character designer on the Metal Gear, Zone of the Enders franchises) and Kenichiro Imaizumi (producer on the Metal Gear Solid franchise).
The studio’s first game will be a console exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and is the start of a new franchise. You can read Hideo Kojima’s passionate opening statement on the birth of the new Kojima Productions by scrolling down on its official website.
"PlayStation’s history is one of game innovation and great new franchises," said Andrew House, President and Global CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a press release. "Hideo Kojima has been a huge part of that history, and we are therefore delighted that he has chosen to bring his brand new project to life in partnership with PlayStation. We look forward to working with him on an exciting new game and warmly welcome him to the PlayStation family."
"I will be taking on a new challenge by establishing my own independent studio, and I am thrilled to be able to embark on this journey with PlayStation, who I have continued to work with all these past years," said Hideo Kojima. "I cannot wait to deliver, with PlayStation, a game that will become a compelling franchise."
Original story 12/14/15: Prominent Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei is reporting that Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima officially left Konami today after nearly thirty years of employment.
According to article, Kojima is setting up a new studio with fellow former Kojima Productions and Konami co-workers and together they will be working on a new game. Kojima is in final negotiations with Sony Computer Entertainment to have the game debut on a PlayStation platform.
Last October, Kojima tweeted a photo of himself with PlayStation 4 and Vita lead architect Mark Cerny, teasing a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment.
Previously, a New Yorker article claimed Kojima left Konami in early October and the author tweeted a photograph of a supposed going-away party for Kojima. Konami denied the claims, responding that he and the rest of his team were “on vacation.”
The unprecedented falling out between Kojima and Konami emerged earlier this year and was one of the biggest news stories in the games industry. Anecdotes from current and former employees of Konami described a company with vicious and destructive culture and policies.
Most recently, Hideo Kojima was not allowed by Konami’s lawyer to attend The Game Awards to accept an award won by his latest title Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Early this month, he was not present at the PlayStation Awards in Tokyo either.