Nearly every video game enthusiast is familiar with the works of Hideo Kojima. Even if they have not experienced a play through of the Metal Gear Solid games, they have heard them mentioned. Video games helmed by Kojima tend to have somewhat convoluted stories. They involve rich lore, confusing subplots, and just a little bit of required outside studying. A quick search online can lead to hours of videos, podcasts, and blogs trying to breakdown every facet of different Kojima games. There are plenty of hidden messages within and leading up to Kojima games to be discovered.
Aside from the story elements, Kojima has assisted in making video game technology advancements. The very concept of single player games being intertwined so that environmental changes in one cross into another is no small feat. In fact, it is such an achievement that it is a running joke in the Apple TV+ series Mythic Quest.
Nineteen years ago a lesser known Kojima produced game, Boktai: The Sun in in Your Hands released. This Game Boy Advanced exclusive was a fun little vampire hunting dungeon crawler with a major twist. A solar panel was built into the game cartridge that impacted in-game events and abilities. The solar powered gun that the titular hero wielded was literally solar powered.
The Silence Never Heard
One of Kojima’s well known, and now fondly missed, projects is P.T. This “playable teaser” released just over eight years ago and lead to an increase in this particular horror structure. There was no survival or combat. The player simply walked down a hallway, turned right, crossed a foyer, and continued through a door. From there, they would appear back at the beginning. Each time the player moved through the “L” shaped maze things changed and the atmosphere thickened. Once completed the player was treated to seeing their character, played by Normal Reedus (The Walking Dead) and that it was all a teaser for an upcoming installation to the beloved psychological horror franchise Silent Hills.
Kojima and Konami had a falling out, the game was scrapped, and P.T. was removed from the store. Very little has been shared about the game since then. One source in particular, former IGN journalist and current Sony Santa Monica writer Alanah Pearce, took to Twitter and YouTube. She shared some of the things she heard about Silent Hills behind closed doors.
According to a tweet from November 18, 2019, Pearce claimed that Silent Hills was going to require a waiver. The game was going to interact with the player, even when not actively being played. Characters from the game would send text messages and emails and there were even rumors about the game messing with the player’s internet connection.
I heard that 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. https://t.co/aWezrmYA7v
— Alanah Pearce ❄️🪓 (@Charalanahzard) November 19, 2019
Kojima Already Seeding the Hidden Message?
Alas, there is no use crying over spilled fluids in a game that will never be complete. Instead, attention should be focused on what is lurking around the corner. There is a new Kojima game in the works and, to put in bluntly, there is nothing publicly known regarding what it is.
However, there are little breadcrumbs that can give room for some theory crafting and speculation. Kojima has historically enjoyed taunting his fans and hiding clues to games before their announcement. With it clear that this is all just possibility and circumstance, here are some of the major clues leading to the belief that his next project is a horror game born from the rotting remains that P.T.
On November 22, 2019, just fourteen days after the release of Death Stranding and three days after the Pearce tweet, Kojima tweeted about making scary games. He mentioned needing to watch scary movies to get in the right headspace to make a scary games. Specifically, he was unable to finish a Thai movie titled The Eye and questions if he ever will. Is this just him reminiscing on a horror movie he never reached the credits of or him getting into the right headspace for making a scary game?
As to make the scariest horror game, I’ll watch the scary movies in order to awaken my horror soul. THE EYE is the Thai horror movie I rent when making PT but was too scary to finish watching. The package is scary so I rented the disc only. Will I be able to finish watching? pic.twitter.com/BVwPruUAvt
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) November 22, 2019
Less than a year later, on Jun 27, 2020, Kojima tweeted about the early stages of his next project. The tweets included more pictures. Most notably, a baby doll similar to BB laying on a sketch and a spaceship of sorts with the “Bridges” name along the top. This clearly alludes to a continuation within the Death Stranding universe.
Working on the concept with listening to “OASIS” by Kitaro I recently bought. I(I used to have the vinyl) Love the illustration by Shusei Nagaoka. pic.twitter.com/hRLyZmnhe5
— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) June 27, 2020
A Major Switch
Fast forward to June 12, 2021 and the gaming community was hit with a rather strange announcement. During the Xbox showcase at Summer Game Fest Kojima popped up for a moment to introduce himself and announce that he is developing a game for Xbox. Though this had been rumored for some time, it caught a lot of the community off guard. He has worked on other systems, but Kojima is intrinsically tied to Sony and PlayStation in most of the hive mind.
This seems to be at odds with Reedus confirming that another Death Stranding game is already in development. On May 17, 2022 an interview with Leo Edit was published. In this, Reedus casually mentioned that working on the game was a great and different experience and that a sequel was already in production. It is worth noting here that Death Stranding was published on console by PlayStation proper.
There’s a Leak Somewhere
Just a little over a month later a freelance video game journalist, Tom Henderson, published information in regards to Kojima’s next project. He claims that the details and short video were sent to him by an anonymous source and. Given his track record of successful leaks, it is believeable. The game in question was titled Overdose and featured Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). She wore a blue dress and navigated a decrepit hallway with a flashlight. The description seemed to align with her Death Stranding character Mama, implying that Overdose may be the expansion to that universe.
Henderson went on to explain that the video was of gameplay with a phone being used as a controller. He concluded that this would be a result of Xbox cloud technology at work. However, the 2019 game Erica has shown that a phone can be used in place of a controller without such extensive and limited available tech.
Anyone who follows Kojima and his games knows that his stories are rich and that he loves the tech as much as the game. The act of studying Kojima’s posts and comments in search of hidden messages and teases is a game onto itself. Slowly, but surely, all of the pieces are coming out to suggest that a horror game as well as something set within the Death Stranding universe are in the pipeline for Kojima productions. Whether these are the same game or not remains to be seen.