This story gets crazier. A report on the New Yorker last night revealed that Hideo Kojima left Konami on 9th October, but the publisher has denied that this is the case. In a statement issued to Tokyo Sports – as translated by Kotaku – a spokesperson said that the Metal Gear Solid maker is still listed as an employee, and has in fact just gone on holiday.

"Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and are taking a long time off from work," the correspondence claimed. "Because the development time for console games is so long and fatigue builds up, it's common for employees to take extended periods of time off when development is finished."

Simon Parkin, the award-winning journalist who reported on Kojima's departure, followed up with a photograph from the director's farewell party. So, either Konami is very confused – or it's trying to conceal the truth regarding the auteur's exit. Either way, this is the story that keeps on giving – and we're confident that we've still not heard the last of it yet.

[via tokyo-sports.co.jp, kotaku.com, eurogamer.net, twitter.com]