Hideo Kojima “Locked in a Room” During Final Days at Konami

While it’s common knowledge that the last days of game auteur Hideo Kojima’s career at Japanese developer Konami were acrimonious, to say the least, the details of their falling out have never been revealed, supposedly due to a non-disclosure clause in Kojima’s severance deal. That is, until now: according to Geoff Keighley, host of last night’s The Game Awards, Kojima was treated like a pariah by Konami, separated from his team – “locked” alone in a room on a different floor – and only able to communicate with them through a proxy.

Keighley was full of praise for Kojima, who was prevented from attending last year’s The Game Award ceremony by Konami, at which Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was nominated for (and subsequently won) Best Action/Adventure.

“It’s inconceivable to me that an artist like Hideo would not be allowed to come here and celebrate with his peers and his fellow teammates,” Keighley said to the crowd at The Game Awards 2015, eliciting boos from the audience, directed at Konami.

“I haven’t talked much about that, but it was such a difficult time because he was going through a lot last year,” Keighley told Glixel this week. “The fact that he finished [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain] under those circumstances is just amazing. He was locked in a separate room on a different floor than his development team for the final six months of development. He couldn’t even talk to them – he had to talk through someone else. That’s how that game was finished.”

Kojima attended this year’s Game Awards, not to collect last year’s award – he didn’t want “that blood on his hands,” according to Keighley – but to collect this year’s Industry Icon award, thank the audience for their support, and to show off a new trailer for his forthcoming game, Death Stranding.

“I think what happened to Hideo Kojima last year was a tragedy, but he never complained: he just sat in an isolated room for months, looked inside himself and focused on his art,” Keighley said at the ceremony, introducing Kojima.

“Part of what kept me going this year,” he told Glixel, “was a belief that we had to be back on the same stage to give [Kojima] his due and give him the award that he was robbed of last year.”

Ashley Allen

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