The studio behind Death Stranding have announced they’re opening a new division in Los Angeles to enter the worlds of television, film, and music. Kojima Productions have confirmed no specific projects or plans yet. Even as someone who has a lot of time and enthusiasm for Kojima’s self-serious wacky plots, I hope the plan isn’t for anything as banal as a Death Stranding movie. Their video games are delightful because they’re video games.
“The new division will be tasked with working with creative and talented professionals in television, music and film, as well as the more familiar games industry,” said division head Riley Russell, according to GamesIndustry.biz.
“The team has as its charter, the goal of expanding the reach and awareness of the properties now under development at Kojima Productions, and to make them even more a part of our popular culture.”
Granted, given Hideo Kojima’s enthusiasm for merchandising and crossovers, this could mean the new division dream of making Chvrches music videos starring Sam Porter Bridges to promote Monster Energy-branded sunglasses. The target customer is Geoff Keighley, and he will spend every penny he has to buy the full line.
“Finding new ways to entertain, engage and offer value to our fans is essential in a fast-moving, ever changing storytelling world,” Kojima Productions business development manager Yoshiko Fukuda said. “Our new division will take the studio into even more areas that present our creative narratives beyond videogames and to open up ways for our fans to communicate and immerse themselves in these spaces.”
Hideo Kojima himself clearly has interests beyond video games but I’d hope for something original rather than adaptations.
Even as someone who enjoys Kojima Productions plots, I think they’re not great outside the context of games. They work partially because they’re both daft and self-serious while being set within rich simulations with remarkable possibilities to discover and play with. A lengthy monologue from a villain named Skullface doesn’t hit the same if you hadn’t, five minutes prior, realised you can evade guards by hiding in a portaloo and blaring diarrhea noises out your Walkman. And a serious chat with Die-Hardman is just boring if it’s not bookended by extreme anxiety that Sam will trip over a rock and slide into a river and destroy the pizza he’s delivering. Without the wonder of the simulation providing contrast and absurdity, they might be left merely pompous and puerile.
But, y’know, I suppose the worst case scenario is that Hideo Kojima goes on to basically make Christopher Nolan movies with bonus piss jokes. I can live with that.