Hideo Kojima talks Konami breakup: “I thought I had lost everything”

When Hideo Kojima left Konami – the company where he made his name with the Metal Gear Solid series – it was the closest the gaming world gets to a celebrity divorce. Rumors circulated about the exact reasons and details of the separation, but Kojima soon bounced back, apparently unscathed. Now, on stage with Death Stranding (opens in new tab) star Norman Reedus and his friend (and creator of The Game Awards (opens in new tab)) Geoff Keighley, he’s revealed more about how it felt starting over at 51.

“I was creating games for 30 years, and I was very confident about creating games, but I had nothing to start with,” Kojima said. “It was from scratch. No office, no staff, no materials or things to work on, no machines.”

“I thought I had lost everything, but I found out that I had a lot of connections. Like Sony people, like Norman [Reedus], like Geoff [Keighley]. I really wanted to reconnect with these people that I thought were really important.”

Those connections, including with Reedus (who he had been working on a Silent Hills game with at Konami) and Hollywood director Guillermo Del Toro, would be key to the idea that became Death Standing, even before the concept was on paper. 

“It was very difficult to start from scratch, but I slowly understood that I didn’t lose anything,” Kojima recalled. “It wasn’t really hard. I was very lucky because I had all these connections… Usually, with a person working in Hollywood, if I explain just what I think in my head, they would never say ‘OK,’ to be in it, but I’m really happy that they did. Mads Mikkelsen was the same; I explained verbally and he said ‘OK, I’ll be in it.’ The president of Mads’ agency said it was the first time he had said yes without any concept sheet.”

During the talk, Kojima and Reedus also dropped some new details about Death Stranding and how all its players would be connected. You can read more about that here. 

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