Hideo Kojima wants people to know that he is a staunchly independent video game developer. That is, not only does his studio have “no affiliation with anyone,” but also “everyday” the Death Stranding author refuses takeover offers from other companies.
“Some of these deals are ridiculously high priced,” Kojima said in his latest edition of Brain Structure, a podcast available through Spotify. (For the record, Kojima speaks in Japanese, with an English overdub). “But it’s not that I want the money. I want to do what I want to do. That’s why I created this studio.
Kojima hosts the podcast, and his guest this week was his good friend Geoff Keighley, himself The Game Awards host – so Kojima is ostensibly leading the discussion. (Disclosure: Kojima is a member of The Game Awards Advisory Board.)
However, Keighley soon took on the role of interviewer, asking Kojima about recent developments in the games industry. “There are so many rumors about games, especially on social media, and I thought maybe we could talk about some of the rumors that are going around and some of the truth behind those rumors. “, said Keighley.
The two then engaged in a lengthy discussion about gossip culture, entertainment products, and social media. After mentioning this summer’s announcement that Kojima was working on a game for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, Keighley touched on Kojima’s already close working relationship with PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment (Death Stranding was, and still is, a PlayStation console exclusive), and whether he’d committed to one console maker or another over the years.
“I think a lot of people have a misunderstanding about Kojima Productions,” he said. “I started this company in 2015 after leaving Konami. It was 100% out of pocket. No funding from anyone. So we are independent.
Kojima acknowledged that his studio’s actual physical proximity to Sony’s global headquarters (in Shibuya, Tokyo), as well as Sony Interactive Entertainment’s headquarters, means “people tend to think we’re part from Sony”. But as this summer’s Microsoft announcement indicates, “We’re independents. We have no affiliation and are not endorsed by anyone. […] And every day I am approached by offers from all over the world to buy our studio.
“Some of these offers are ridiculously high priced, but it’s not that I want the money,” Kojima said. “I want to do what I want to do. That’s why I created this studio.
In other words, for those expecting Kojima Productions (and mascot Ludens) to be the latest big-name acquisition in a year with them, don’t hold your breath. “As long as I’m alive, I don’t think I’ll ever accept these offers,” Kojima said.
It is speculated that Kojima’s posture stems from the end of his tenure at Konami in 2015, when the publisher dumped him and his ideas in favor of making pachinko machines and destroying Pro Evolution Soccer.
But Kojima also speaks as an artist (35+, in that medium) who understands creative capital and how much he’s earned.
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