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Kojima wants to strike big with Xbox — and PlayStation should be jealous

Hideo Kojima
(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

The Xbox and Bethesda Game Showcase teased over 30 games coming to Game Pass and brought Starfield highs (and lows), but it also left fans with a surprising right hook: a Hideo Kojima announcement.

That’s right, the iconic game developer behind Metal Gear Solid and Death Stranding finally announced his partnership with Xbox Game Studios after much speculation back in 2021, when GamesBeat’s Jeff Grubb let loose that Kojima was in cahoots with Xbox. It’s official: Kojima gets the chance to spread his wings after a long legacy at PlayStation and develop a game he’s “always wanted to make.” What a thrill…

Did he even have to show off a teaser of what he has in mind? Nope. In fact, all he had to say to cause a stir was: “it’s a completely new game, one that no one has ever experienced or seen before. I’ve waited very long for the day when I could finally start to create it.” That was enough to start a “Cancel Kojima Xbox exclusive game” petition that already has over 1,800 signatures. Apparently, Kojima is “betraying his loyal fans” by jumping on the Microsoft bandwagon. How dare he. 

(Image credit: Microsoft )

But seriously, the tired “console war” argument is getting old. Thanks to an interview with Death Stranding’s Norman Reedus, we already know a follow-up is coming, so it’s hardly like the la-li-lu-le-legend (nice nickname, Skill Up) is abandoning hardcore PlayStation fans. Plus, Xbox Game Pass is just $9.99/£7.99 a month and just $1/£1 for the first three months. Give it a go if you can.

Maybe, just maybe, PlayStation should be jealous of this “never-before-seen concept,” though. Because of Microsoft’s cloud technology, Kojima gets to make a game that we’ve never experienced before, and the game developer claims he’s been waiting a very long time to create it. As far as rumors go, it could be something along the lines of the sorely missed Silent Hills, which leaves PlayStation with a game akin to a DHL simulator and little else.
 

Kept you waiting, huh?  

Many have been excited to see what Kojima Productions would deliver ever since Kojima and his team left Konami in the dust. The hype spilled over when fans started speculating that developer Blue Box Games’ mysterious horror title Abandoned was secretly a Kojima title. It turns out that was just guesswork, and so far, Death Stranding stands as the independent studio’s only achievement.

Look, despite my thoughts on a game that has you essentially delivering packages in a post-apocalyptic world (TL;DR it’s a slow-burner masterpiece), Death Stranding understandably isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Slogging through gathering resources to slowly build roads for the rest of the community only to deliver a pizza is a unique proposition, to say the least. Not exactly the tactical espionage action many were hoping for. 

(Image credit: Kojima Productions)

It was hard for Death Stranding’s net to reel in as many players as the Metal Gear series. With talks of a sequel in development to expand the strange “Strand” genre, it might not be as appealing as, say, a horror game from the same company behind the elusive P.T. demo. That’s why Kojima’s team-up with Xbox makes him a hot commodity, especially if it turns out to be a greater triumph with a wider audience of gamers than Death Stranding.

Silent Hills (Image credit: Konami)

Nothing is concrete about Kojima’s next title, as all we know is that it’s going to be a completely new game that uses “Microsoft’s cutting edge cloud technology.” That sound’s familiar seeing how Death Stranding’s offers a social concept of building the world to aid other players and that it’s a “never-before-seen” Strand genre of gaming. That shouldn’t make PlayStation jealous. What will? If it’s the rumored horror title known as Overdose. 

Overdose 

It’s hardly news that horror fans are waiting for the announcement of a new Silent Hill with bated breath, and that stems from the hugely successful announcement of Silent Hills. There have been a slew of horror-based titles ever since P.T., and with leaked images of a rumored Sillent Hill title emerging, it’s hard not to think it will go in the same direction. Is this the “change to the industry’s trend” Kojima mentions in his announcement? According to reputable leaker Tom Henderson, it might be.

The leaker claims he was sent early footage of a new title from Kojima named Overdose, which showed Margaret Qualley, known as Mama in Death Stranding, in a blue dress. Henderson goes on to talk about what he saw, with the character walking through dark corridors with a flashlight in hand — all from a third-person perspective. However, apparently, the game can also be played in first-person. There’s a jumpscare at the end, followed by a “Game Over” and “a Hideo Kojima Game…OVERDOSE.” 

Mama (Margaret Qualley) in Death Stranding (Image credit: Kojima Productions )

Henderson is known for leaking valuable gaming insights before official announcements — from Battlefield 2042 to Call of Duty — and with Kojima Productions asking for the report to be taken down (which the site declined), it looks like Henderson hit the nail on the head.

Of course, we don’t know if this is the game Kojima is working on. But there are more indications that the studio’s next game will be a horror title. As gaming writer Alanah Pearce mentions, the now-canceled Silent Hills "would require you to sign a waiver before playing because it would somehow interact with your real-world self, like by sending you emails or text messages as characters from the game even when you weren’t actively playing." While we might not get text messages, Kojima’s mention of using cloud technology could play a role instead. 

(Image credit: Kojima Productions )

I don’t know about you, but even from that excerpt, I’m excited to play. Maybe it’s the mystery surrounding Kojima’s enigmatic Xbox game that has me hyped, but I’m sure it sounds like more of an appealing concept to many than what Kojima exclusively made for PlayStation in Death Stranding.

Microsoft has a good deal on their hands with Kojima Productions now involved. Getting exclusive rights to esteemed Japanese game developers broadens Xbox’s horizons, and that trend will seemingly continue with three of the best RPGs making their way onto Game Pass: Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal. That exclusivity could hurt PlayStation depending on the final game, meaning they would want Kojima to up the ante for future PlayStation collaborations. But, at the end of the day, PlayStation shouldn’t have too much to worry about. 

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In light of the Xbox partnership, Kojima Productions released a statement: “After the announcement of our partnership with Microsoft using the cloud technology, many people have asked us about our collaboration with SIE. Please be assured that we continue to have a very good partnership with PlayStation as well.” Maybe Xbox will have its time in the sun with Kojima, but that doesn’t mean he has abandoned PlayStation. 

Outlook 

Hideo Kojima is in a good position. Nobody is certain what’s going on behind closed doors at Kojima Productions, rumors and leaks aside. Will his Xbox exclusive give us the Silent Hills vibe we’ve been craving? Will his devotion to using Microsoft’s cloud technology be more of a gimmick? How envious will PlayStation be if the game is a home run? Snake? SNAAAAKE!?

Whatever the case, we have a while until we see anything from the mastermind behind Metal Gear. What’s clear is that there’s a lot of hype around Kojima’s next game, from big gaming companies to the fans themselves. The game studio always brings new innovations to the gaming scene, and that’s something to look forward to. PlayStaton may be envious of the possible horror game, but its State of Play has shown there are plenty of other games to look forward to, from Resident Evil 4 Remake to The Callisto Protocol.

Just don’t keep us waiting too long, Kojima.  

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.