A recent interview with the Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, set the hearts of Kojima fans racing. While Spencer didn’t explicitly confirm a collaboration with video game creator Hideo Kojima, there was a visual nod to his production company.
Behind Spencer, and next to the Xbox logo, Kojima Productions’ mascot Ludens was stood. This one feature on the shelving of Spencer’s background set fans into a frenzy and this was furthered by a report from Jeff Grubb.
Reporting for GamesBeat. Grubb noted that “I cannot confirm if Xbox closed the deal yet, but my understanding is that Kojima is the focus of a Microsoft plan to tap into Japanese talent.”
On the back of these two hints, fans of Hideo Kojima have begun hypothesising about a new game. So much so, that the possibility of a new title in partnership with Xbox became headline news and trended on Twitter.
With this in mind, Xbox striking a deal with Kojima Productions could be very profitable. Primarily, because of the importance of fandom in the gaming industry, and the attention Hideo Kojima generates.
Whether you believe that a video game can be the creative vision of one person or not, Kojima has had success with this narrative. Through the innovative Metal Gear Sold franchise, the game creator managed to subvert expectations and push hardware to its limits. Following this, Kojima had a very public split from Konami Studios and it once again drew attention to the creative force behind an acclaimed series.
While the next project from the game creator, Death Stranding, had a polarised reception, its build-up proved that Kojima’s branding carried weight. It is this selling power that could make a deal between Xbox and Kojima Productions a success.
Our research data is sourced from an average of 1,200 consumers at London’s MCM Comic-Con. It found that fans are 35% more likely to buy a game on its first week of release. Furthermore, they are 1.9 times more likely to be receptive to video game adverts.
This interaction with adverts alongside Kojima’s high-profile marketing campaigns that engage could be reason enough for a deal to be struck. Whether players enjoy the end product or not, the ambiguous trailers for the likes of Death Stranding generated excitement for the PlayStation 4. This could be replicated with a new title and act as a springboard for the new Xbox consoles and the Game Pass offering.
It is not uncommon for franchisees to draw in an audience. However, the notion of an auteur or a personality commanding attention is more unique in the industry. With Kojima, Xbox can put a spotlight on a new IP. Moreover, a deal with Kojima Productions would undoubtedly lead to fans doing a portion of the marketing work through social media and word of mouth.
For any company that is still advertising a new console, Kojima Productions would be a tempting studio to work with. Additionally, the fact that Kojima Productions may be available to sign a new contract with a company could provide Xbox with the perfect opportunity to continue expanding its roster of high-profile game studios.