After Hideo Kojima left Konami in 2015, many wondered what the developer would do next. Despite his family wanting him to retire, Kojima decided to start his own studio, Kojima Productions, which would go on to develop the upcoming Death Stranding. But his studio almost didn’t come to be. Even being a prolific game developer such as himself, it was not easy to start a new studio in Japan.
Starting a new studio requires a lot of money, and when Kojima went to Japanese banks to request a loan to get things going, none of them would approve his request. Although he had proven himself as a game developer, he had no history of bringing in financial returns, making it difficult for banks to partner with him. He had no office, no employees, no game engine, or anything to get started with other than his experience.
Finally, he went to Japan’s biggest bank, where he was approved for the loan he requested. With a stroke of luck, the banker there was a huge fan of Kojima’s work and trusted they’d see a return. But that wasn’t the end of it. Kojima now had to procure office space, which proved to be difficult given that most of his fans were Western based. Fortunately, once again he found a landlord who was a fan of his work, granting a quality office space for Kojima to get his studio off the ground. And now, less than four years later, we’re just a few short weeks away from the studio’s debut game, Death Stranding; one that has a tremendous amount of hype behind it.
While there’s a lot of excitement around Death Stranding, it’s unclear if its critical and commercial reception will match. We do know the studio is already gearing up for its next project, one that could even be a followup to Death Stranding or something entirely new. Time will tell what the future holds for Kojima and his studio.
Death Stranding will release exclusively for PS4 on November 8, 2019.