Dear VICE Readers,
It's come to my attention that nobody is completely certain where Japanese video game designer Hideo Kojima, known worldwide for the Metal Gear Solid series, Penguin Adventure, and taking photographs of his lunch, really is right now.
Konami, Kojima's employers for the past 29 years, have released a statement that the producer of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner and Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django, games that to this day are enjoyed on a global scale, is "on vacation." Kojima's own Twitter appears to corroborate this claim, with a post of October 19 indicating that the director of Stock Trading Trainer: Kabutore, an all-time classic if we're being honest with ourselves for a goddamn second here, had a lovely time at the Mori Arts Center, Tokyo, taking in the Golden Pharohs and Pyramids exhibition. A great and educational day out for all the family, I'm sure you agree.
Konami's statement also says that Kojima remains an employee of their organization, which is reassuring after several months of rumors and reports along the lines of him leaving in the wake of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which has been out for ages now.
And yet, here's Simon Parkin writing for The New Yorker that, actually, wouldn't you know it, Kojima's final day at the office was October 9. He says that there was a leaving party, with drinks in plastic cups and people pretending that they'll keep in touch with him once he's cleared his desk and everything. Look, there's even Photographic Evidence of what appears to be this event as it happened, in the tweet embedded below. Use your eyes: that is Kojima, second from the left, politely, perhaps reluctantly, raising a drink. He may well have downed it seconds after this shot was taken and smashed the fuck out of the room before dropping his drawers and dumping on a framed picture of promo art for Lords of Shadow 2; or simply taken a sip, put it down on a desk and forgotten about it. We'll never know for sure, because Konami can't recall what this gathering was in aid of, at all.
On October 9, Kojima posted no photographs of a leaving lunch, and come on now: everybody has a leaving lunch on their last day, where nearest and dearest and some guy from IT who you barely know but they seem OK I guess go out just before one and come crawling back to their computers after three, semi-comatose and glaring at the clock until it ticks around to shut down and bar time. That is the way of things. Now, I don't know for sure how Japan does last days, but you'd expect to see a sausage, at the very least.
Who can we trust? Perhaps Hideo never went to see the old Egyptian stuff. Perhaps he's in a cardboard box somewhere, right now, desperately trying to sneak past people who, if they spotted him, would be Very Upset Indeed. Alarmed, even. Maybe he's belatedly on his way to a lovely lunch? All I know is that I don't know.
So help us help Konami here, friends. If you've seen Hideo Kojima recently, please let us know. It's not like he's in trouble or anything. The world's moved on from the debacle that was Sons of Liberty. He can come back whenever he wants, no rush. It's almost definitely unlikely that he'll be made to work in the pachinko department, probably. It'd just be nice to know whether or not Konami can chuck out that African violet he's had on the edge of his station, sitting unloved and limp, for the last four months. It's making the office look untidy, what with all the other spotless, vacated desks around the place.
Thanks, and stay away from the balloons.
- Mike Diver, Gaming Editor