Metal Gear Solid 4 and Kojima Productions' token gaijin, has decided to leave the company. "... It feels like this is how it's supposed to be. It's fate," he said in an interview with Kotaku. Working in Japan and being away from family is hitting him hard; so, when he heard some "pretty heavy news concerning [his] mom," he realized that sticking close to family was all too important.
Most people will probably not remember the name 'Payton' as much as 'Kojima,' but keep in mind that it was Payton who helped develop MGS4 into a more Western-friendly title -- opening the traditionalist Japanese crew to more Western influences (which is why MGS4 plays like a charm). We wish you the best of luck Ryan in your future endeavors and hope you continue to help make amazing games. We guess you'll always have the memories ... and that awesome shirt.