Hideo Kojima wants people to know that he is an independent video game developer. That is, not only does his studio “have nothing to do with anyone,” but “every day” the The dying The author declines sales offers from other companies.
“Some of those gifts have very high prices,” said Kojima in his new book Brain Structure, a podcast available through Spotify. (For the record, Kojima speaks in Japanese, with an English overdub). “But I don’t want 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 is his good friend Geoff Keighley, who is the host of The Game Awards – so Kojima is 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 new developments in the gaming industry. “There are a lot of rumors about games, especially on social media, and I thought we might talk about some of the rumors that are out there, and some of the truth behind those rumors, ” said Keighley.
The two then engage in a lengthy discussion about rumor culture, entertainment products, and social media. After announcing this summer that Kojima was working on a game for Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios, Keighley brought up Kojima’s relationship with PlayStation and Sony Interactive Entertainment (The dying it is, and only is, a PlayStation console), and whether or not it has promised a console manufacturer or another over the years.
“I think a lot of people have a misconception about Kojima Productions,” he said. “I created this company in 2015 after leaving Konami. It was 100% from my own pocket. No money from anyone else. So we are independent.
Kojima noted that his studio’s physical proximity to Sony’s second global headquarters (in Shibuya, Tokyo), and Sony Interactive Entertainment’s HQ, means that “people feel that we are part of Sony.” But as Microsoft announced this summer, “we’re indies. We’re not affiliated, we’re not sponsored by anyone. […] And every day, I am approached by offers from all over the world to buy our studio.
“Some of those gifts are very expensive, but I don’t want money,” Kojima said. “I want to do what I want to do. That’s why I did this studio.”
In other words, for those who think that Kojima Productions (and mascot Ludens) is the latest big name in a year shot with them, don’t hold your breath. “As long as I’m alive, I don’t think I’ll accept those offers,” Kojima said.
Some believe that Kojima’s position is due to the fact that his tenure with Konami ended in 2015, when the publisher fired him and his ideas for creating pachinko machines and burned the Pro Evolution Soccer is down.
But Kojima says as an artist (35 years and counting, at this point) he understands development capital and how much he can afford.