By Stan Rezaee
In the ongoing dispute, Konami continues to burn its relationship with Hideo Kojima, one of the most iconic figures in the gaming community, while demonstrating its lack of professionalism.
This breakdown in professionalism started back in March when Konami removed any references to Kojima Productions from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain followed by the cancellation of Silent Hills a few days latter.
The latest act of pettiness is Konami removing Hideo Kojima’s name from the cover of The Phantom Pain. Basically what Konami is trying to do is not acknowledge that Kojima was the driving force behind The Phantom Pain, and by removing his name it’s trying to rob him of the credit he deserves. The end game of this strategically made insult was to belittle his name and what he represents to the gaming community.
Obviously this move failed as it only portrayed Konami as being incredibly petty while having no sense of professionalism in the eyes of the public. The gaming community was quick to denounce Konami’s action as being incredibly petty while adding fuel to speculation of an internal conflict. It failed to realize that nothing could have been gained by publicly insulting an icon in such a manner.
What Konami fails to realize is that it needs Kojima more than he needs them. When Kojima leaves, there will likely be a bidding war among major studios. Gamers won’t be surprised if Rockstar Games has him lead a team that could complete Agent. Given that Kojima created the stealth genre, while Metal Gear Solid being the most well known espionage game, it makes sense for him to team up with Rockstar Games.
Even though Kojima will be departing, it’s Konami that has lost this battle in the public eye. Regardless of how one may feel, showing respect towards someone who has earned it says a lot about one’s character. Konami has failed to show Kojima the respect he has earned and in doing so demonstrated that talent is not appreciated at the company.
The long-term ramifications could be that Konami could become ostracized from the gaming community as it could see a mass exodus among the staff while fans could boycott future projects. At the same time it has burned its bridges with others in the entertainment industry as Kojima had the respect of many figures in both the gaming industry and Hollywood.
In the end; Kojima doesn’t need Konami when he has the respect of the entertainment industry supporting him. The future looks bright for one of the most iconic figures in the gaming world while Konami could be expected to collapse in a few years during its pathetic attempt to compete with Zynga or King Digital.