The Game Awards 2016 host Geoff Keighley reveals that Hideo Kojima was ‘locked in a separate room’ for six months during Metal Gear Solid 5‘s development.
Some may remember back in 2015 when a report surfaced that alleged Konami’s poor work conditions and how those internal issues led to the delay of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. It was a scathing report – one that also alleged that employees would be punished if they aren’t deemed as ‘useful,’ forced to become cleaners and security guards and that there are cameras in corridors that monitor employee movements.
At the time it seemed as though the poor working conditions were relegated to low level employees, but that may not have been the case. According to The Game Awards 2016 creator and host Geoff Keighley, the company treated veteran game developer Hideo Kojima just as poorly. In an interview with Glixel, Keighley claims that Kojima, who left Konami last year in a move that shocked many, was “locked in a separate room on a different floor than his development team for the final six months of development.”
The man in charge of the Game Awards also explains that Kojima “couldn’t even talk to them – he had to talk through someone else. That’s how that game was finished.” Keighley adds that “the fact that he finished that game under those circumstances is just amazing.” Indeed, despite these circumstances, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain received positive reviews across the board.
While Kojima himself is forbidden from discussing the details surrounding his departure from Konami, Keighley is a seemingly reliable third-party source. Keighley and Kojima appear to be good friends, with the developer being awarded the Industry Icon award at The Game Awards 2016. Keighley even told Glixel that giving Kojima this award, after the developer was barred from receiving one last year, is one of the things that kept the host going this year. Moreover, a trailer for Death Stranding, the first post-Konami title that Kojima is currently developing for PS4, was also revealed during this year’s event.
And Keighley isn’t the only friend of Kojima’s to rip into Konami either. Earlier today, Guillermo del Toro tweeted ‘f–k Konami,’ standing by his Death Stranding colleague, also criticizing the company for cancelling their previous project, Silent Hills. Famously, Norman Reedus poked fun at Konami too.
While many fans would surely love to hear the full story from Kojima himself, while he is unable to these comments from the developer’s friends shed light on what is one of the biggest developer/company disputes to hit the headlines in recent years.