I know what you’re thinking…you want to fly right down to the comment section, and inundate it with hateful shit like…
This abject hatred is pretty much present wherever you go, but do you notice how in the above image there are not one, but TWO, celebrity endorsements for it? Norman Reedus seems to be content with one snarky comment on his Instagram shortly after the cancellation of Silent Hills, but Guillermo Del Toro has continued his tirade into 2017 with no signs of slowing down.
I personally find it rather pathetic that a multimillionaire director is still acting like a jilted high school boyfriend almost 2 years after the fact, but after a quick perusal of his Twitter feed, I’d say that his actions are pretty much par for the course. I totally get that it stings when business deals fall through, but continuing to hate on something (anything) when that energy can be put towards something productive is no way to live, no matter how many commas you have on your bank statement.
Dude even keeps track of all of his angry rants via Twitter Moments.
So what about us? You know, the people who actually play video games? Some of the anonymous trolls above may, in fact, partake in pixelated hobbies, but how can encouraging, or sometimes outright calling for, the closure of a studio benefit any of us? That just means less games for everyone, with some of our most coveted IPs (sometimes) being picked up by other studios, only to be buried forever. In other words, we all lose. Anyone remember Alice: Madness Returns? The studio that developed it, Spicy Horse, shuttered its doors in 2016 to focus on smaller indie titles, leaving the awesomely dark 2-entry franchise up in the air.
Recently, Konami revealed Super Bomberman R, a Nintendo Switch exclusive, which was previously a Hudson Soft IP, and one whose most recent main series release was back in 2010. For many, including myself, it was a welcome return to form after the admittedly ugly Kojima debacle. For others, it was a new opportunity to shit anew on Konami. According to my research, much of the trollerific heat directed at Konami seems to come from Facebook, but considering that Facebook used to focus on whether someone was Hot or Not, a little vitriol on the now ginormous social media platform can be expected.
Who knew that online dating platforms would still be dicey almost 20 years later, amirite?
Despite how loud these spewtastic detractors have been for the last two years (I simply can’t refer to them as “Hideo Kojima supporters”), none of them seem to recall that their boy was the Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment, and is not above reproach. From his modus operandi of pushing out release dates to demolishing budgetary constraints, Kojima seems to have become somewhat of a loose cannon during his final days at Konami, which coincides with the timeframe between 2013 and 2016, when Konami started taking a more conservative approach to development and release.
During this time, many of our most coveted IPs were relegated to pachinko machines, development was pushed out to 3rd party developers, and Konami made the fateful choice to remove Kojima’s name from any and all marketing material for Metal Gear Solid V, block him from receiving recognition in person at The Game Awards in 2015, and cancelling the much anticipated Silent Hills. For many, these actions would prove to be unforgivable.
6 months tops, folks. Enough is enough…
Am I condoning Konami’s actions during this time? Absolutely not.
However, you do have to understand that ousting someone in a position of power at a Japanese organization is vastly different from their American counterparts. Typically, when a Japanese CEO makes a mistake within their company (missing deadlines and blowing money), they apologize and resign. The hard-to-watch departure of Gunpei Yokoi is testament to this practice, who later went on to develop the WonderSwan, and then tragically leave this world entirely too early shortly after.
According to speculation from multiple platforms such as Reddit, PS4Daily, and ToonZone, Kojima has been dubbed everything from a “vampire” to an “egomaniac”. There is no official word from a reputable source that confirms these claims, but it’s important to note that there is a big difference between someone with a big ego and one who’s narcissistic. Where a big ego is generally considered healthy, someone who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder exhibits five or more of the following traits, according to the DSM-IV, TR:
- A grandiose sense of self importance; e.g., exaggerates achievements and/or talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements
- Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
- Believes that he or she is special and unique; feels that he or she can only associate with other special or high-status people (or institutions), or can only be understood by other special people
- Requires excessive admiration
- Strong sense of entitlement; i.e., unreasonable expectations of favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
- Is inter-personally exploitative; i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
- Lacks empathy; is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
- Is often envious of others and believes that others are jealous of him or her.
- Demonstrates arrogant, haughty behaviors and/or attitudes.
If these accusations can be believed, Kojima’s behavior could be construed as exhibiting more than five of these traits, displaying him as an individual that may suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, i.e. not someone who would cleanly walk away from Konami if expected or asked to do so. We may never know, but it could offer an explanation as to why Konami started pulling back on releases and focusing on their very lucrative pachinko business in a desperate bid to stay afloat. What would you do if your boss was telling you something different from your even bigger boss?
In the above forums, Kojima stands accused of siphoning money from other much-loved projects and funneling it into his own, such as Silent Hills and Metal Gear Solid V. Many Konami detractors like to state that the Metal Gear franchise belongs to Kojima and that he can do whatever he wants with it, but this is not true. Metal Gear has always been owned by Konami, even though Kojima has spent countless hours developing and shaping it. That’s the nature of video game development: company owns IP, company hires creative people to develop the IP, company retains rights as the studio body swells and recedes. That would be akin to me saying that since I’ve played Nintendo games for over 20 years, I’m entitled to x amount of Nintendo’s earnings.
For real though, Nintendo. You owe me, like, $5 million easy!
Personally, I don’t hate Hideo Kojima. I feel that the man is very talented, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors. Death Stranding is the big one currently in development, and perhaps will give him the freedom to get as creative as he’d like with a brand new IP. I consider it a fresh start for somebody with a gang of industry experience, freed from the shackles of a AAA publisher (whom I’ve loudly decried before, if we’re being totally candid).
I do feel, however, that holding Kojima’s name above the hundreds of other names that accompany his in the credits is spitting in their faces. He may have harbored the vision, but he was far from alone, and much of the talent that helped make his games possible are still at Konami to this day.
Let’s get real, shall we? Silent Hills development costs would have been through the roof. Do you honestly believe that Guillermo Del Toro and Norman Reedus would’ve been cheap to bring on? Metal Gear Solid V had already went way over budget and way overdue. Do you really think that any self-respecting business would’ve taken one look at Silent Hills’ projected price tag and gave it the greenlight after that? I’d hope not, unless they like declaring bankruptcy.
I laughed all the way to the poor house!
Now that the dust has settled and everyone involved has gone on to focus on their respective interests, I feel that Konami can focus on what made them awesome in the first place: releasing tons of amazing IPs. I feel that Super Bomberman R is the heralding of a new age where we will see more and more of these supposedly forgotten franchises. We cannot forget that Konami has been behind many of our favorite games, from Castlevania to Suikoden, and has never been beholden to one franchise at the expense of others.
In fact, during the NES’s heyday, Konami was releasing so many games that they had to create a shell company in order to get around Nintendo’s limited publishing policy. I’d love nothing more than to see these franchises see the light of day again, and with a new budget and the sky being the only limit, perhaps we’ll get to play them again, in time. In the end, I’m glad everyone walked away, and it’s time for us to recognize those above-stated salt miners for what they really are: trolls, nothing more.
Lumpz the Clown OUT!