Konami’s insistence that they didn’t fire Hideo Kojima and he was just on vacation has finally collapsed; Kojima has officially announced he’s got a new studio, a new franchise, and a new patron. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he’s returned to the console he loves best; his first game is for Sony. The only question really is what that game is going to be, and who wins out of this mess.
If somehow you’re not familiar, Kojima is arguably one of the auteurs of video games, best known for the Metal Gear Solid franchise. His work takes forever, but it’s careful, elaborate, detailed and, oh yeah, usually pretty fun to play. Kojima spent years working for Konami, a venerable Japanese video game publisher that has seemingly lost its mind in the last few years. The split between Kojima and Konami was ugly and shockingly petty on Konami’s part. And now Kojima has landed at the company that wants him most.
Sony is the undeniable winner out of all of this. They more or less resuscitated Kojima’s carefully built studio and brought the whole thing under their label; it seems likely Kojima will more or less be their first-party developer, although rumors are unclear on his next game being a Sony exclusive or just a timed exclusive. The former seems more likely than the latter; Sony’s not going to give Kojima money just so he can help Microsoft sell consoles.
What form might this game take? Good question; Kojima is only promising a “new and innovative” experience. That said, don’t be surprised if his Silent Hills project, notoriously canceled by Konami after an enormously popular teaser, takes on new life.
As for Konami, it’s difficult to see this as anything other than the company going all in on erotic pachinko machines and fitness clubs, and ditching the video game industry altogether. It’s not the most ignominious end for a game publisher, but that it’s so sad, and so bitter, is disappointing. Kojima has spent decades at Konami and helped the company achieve enormous success in the industry; that he had to escape the company he’s worked at for so long perhaps reflects just how much the gaming world is changing.
(Via PC Gamer)