Host Geoff Keighley dropped a bomb on attendees and viewers of The Game Awards last night when he claimed that Konami’s lawyers banned Hideo Kojima from attending the event.
Due to a still-standing employment contract, Kojima was required to watch the event from Tokyo, Japan — what he witnessed may have been bittersweet for the famed game director. As Keighley explained what had happened, the crowd at once boo’d Konami and subsequently cheered in celebration of Kojima.
Members of the game industry and press have since taken to their personal Twitter profiles to express their opinions and grievances on the matter. We’ve gathered 15 Tweets we found from developers and journalists ranging from anger, disbelief, and even humor over such bizarre news.
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) December 4, 2015
— Danny O'Dwyer (@dannyodwyer) December 4, 2015
Gotta hand it to @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN: "eccentric genius held prisoner by shadowy pachinko company" is a pretty Metal Gear-ass storyline
— Justin McElroy (@JustinMcElroy) December 4, 2015
Trying to think of a funny joke about Konami banning Hideo Kojima from The Game Awards, but all that comes to mind: pic.twitter.com/TIm3BhBmuX
— Patrick Klepek (@patrickklepek) December 4, 2015
I am half tempted to grab popcorn and head over to Konami's tweet feed just to enjoy the well deserved retribution.
— Andrea Pessino (@AndreaPessino) December 4, 2015
I've found too many times where industry execs don't have a fundamental belief in talent and their actions flow from that.
— Brian Fargo (@BrianFargo) December 4, 2015
This is why Kojima Productions should've built its headquarters in international waters
— Michael McWhertor (@MikeMcWhertor) December 4, 2015
— Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) December 4, 2015
Konami: The Absolute Worst.
— Colin Moriarty (@notaxation) December 4, 2015
— Alexa Ray Corriea? (@AlexaRayC) December 4, 2015
WAIT DID TIME MAGAZINE STAGE THIS TOO?
— Arthur Gies (@aegies) December 4, 2015
— Greg Miller (@GameOverGreggy) December 4, 2015
Imagine thinking "yes, it would be a good idea to bar our legendary game designer from attending a popular awards show"
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) December 4, 2015
Really glad @geoffkeighley is playing it straight, calling out BS legal drama, and being so transparent. Wow, Konami. Yikes.
— Mitch Dyer (@MitchyD) December 4, 2015
— METAL GEAR OFFICIAL (@metalgear_en) December 4, 2015
Thank you very much.
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) December 4, 2015
Our take: It’s very easy to point fingers. But it’s harder to remember that we don’t always know the full story. There’s a lot going on between these two parties that may never come to light, and that’s important to keep in mind. We don’t know everything going on. But it’s also important to remember that Hideo Kojima is, in fact, a human being. Konami’s treatment of Kojima, who was employed by the company for nearly 30 years, is very troubling and it’s uplifting to see so many members of the industry and press voice their opinions on the director’s treatment.
Presumably, this will have little overall effect on Konami as a company. Numerous reports point to Konami leaving the AAA game market and in Japan, Konami’s homebase, the company seems more focused on its Sports Club and Pachinko production. It’s completely possible that any markets, customers, or investors interested in these types of products are either oblivious or uninterested in Konami’s treatment of one of its game developers, much less one who’s studio was in North America.
So what does the future hold for Kojima? Like the past, it’s hard to tell. But with so much support currently coming from the industry, one can hope that he will be taken in by another developer or publisher that will give him the attention and resources needed to create the types of games he wants.