Hideo Kojima has clarified that Kojima Productions is still independent, despite Death Stranding appearing in PlayStation Studio’s banner.
While Kojima typically uses his Japanese and English Twitter accounts to discuss films he recently watched or provide updates on his projects, Kojima posted a promotional image for PlayStation Studios on April 15th.
It should be noted the image had also previously appeared on PlayStation Studio’s own website. All of the other games featured in the banner are from PlayStation Studios developers, except Kojima’s own Death Stranding (far left).
Kojima worked somewhat closely with PlayStation in the past with the Metal Gear Solid series’ typically being released first on PlayStation consoles. Combined with the recent history of PlayStation acquiring Bungie earlier this year, many originally believed this was confirmation that PlayStation had bought Kojima Productions.
However, Kojima quickly clarified the image writing, “I’m sorry for the misunderstanding, but KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS has been and will continue to be an independent studio.”
While Kojima claims the company is and will remain independent, it’s surprising that PlayStation Studios would include Death Stranding in their promotional materials, especially since all the other games featured are owned by PlayStation Studios owned companies.
Interestingly, a similar case happened when PlayStation Studios announced that they had acquired Returnal developer Housemarque back in June. The company’s Japanese Twitter account instead tweeted an image announcing that Bluepoint Games had been acquired. Three months later, PlayStation officially announced Bluepoint Games had joined PlayStation Studios.
PlayStation has made a number of big acquisitions over the past couple of years including Housemarque and Bluepoint. They also acquired Bungie, Firesprite, Nixxes, Valkyrie, and Jade Raymond’s Haven.
As for Kojima, he reformed Kojima Productions after his relationship with Konami fell apart in 2015. The studio was originally a subsidiary of Konami, but after the fallout he reformed it as its own independent studios based in Shinagawa.
The studio’s first game, Death Stranding, was developed exclusively for the PlayStation and released in 2019. A PC version would eventually be released in 2020.
Back in November, the company announced they were creating a brand “new division dedicated to music, TV and film.”
The press release detailed this new division would be based in Los Angeles and “is designed to take the game studio’s games to other pop culture areas” with Riley Russell heading up the division.
Russell explained, “The new division will be tasked with working with creative and talented professionals in television, music and film, as well as the more familiar games industry.”
“The team has as its charter, the goal of expanding the reach and awareness of the properties now under development at KOJIMA PRODUCTIONS and to make them, even more, a part of our popular culture,” he added. “Although we are a global organization, the new business development team will be centred in Los Angeles, CA. We are truly excited and looking forward to working with the very best entertainment talent we can, across all of the entertainment industries.”
On top of this new division, Kojima also announced he was beginning work on a new project at the onset of 2022.
He tweeted “This year, I’m going to start a new work in earnest, and move to the next level of experimentation with a radical project.”
He also discussed other projects, adding, “I’m also hoping to get the video team going. And I may start doing something like a radio project?”
There had also been previous speculation that Kojima would be working with Microsoft in some capacity, rather than PlayStation. VentureBeat claimed in April 2021 that “according to a source familiar with the matter” Kojima was in talks with Microsoft for his next title.
In July 2021, VentureBeat sources claimed Kojima and Microsoft had agreed to work out the details for a publishing agreement, along with Portal and Left 4 Dead developer Kim Swift “assisting in making Kojima’s cloud game a reality.”
What do you think? Did PlayStation Studios acquire Kojima Productions? Or is the inclusion of the Death Stranding image a misunderstanding as Kojima claims? Let us know in the comments below.