When Sony announced a mysterious new PS5-exclusive today with Abandoned, many people guessed it’s secret Hideo Kojima’s next game. While that’s not the case, a new rumor suggests Kojima is considering Microsoft as publisher for his next game.
The new rumor (via GamesBeat) notes Kojima is in talks with Microsoft about publishing his next game, according to “a source familiar with the matter.” While it remains unclear if Microsoft has closed the deal with Kojima, the rumor notes Kojima is the “focus of a Microsoft plan to leverage Japanese talent.”
Microsoft’s focus on the Japanese market makes sense, considering the company recently said the Japanese market is their “fastest growing” install base for Xbox while Sony’s PlayStation brand has been steadily losing appeal in their home market.
A February livestream with Xbox boss Phil Spencer was held from his home, where eagle-eyed viewers were keen to point out the things on the shelf behind him. One trinket on his shelf was the Kojima Productions mascot, Ludens, which stood next to a big glowing Xbox lamp. This source reportedly notes this was a subtle nod to the potential deal with Kojima Productions.
A publishing deal with Kojima Productions doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal, financially at least, for Microsoft. The company has been acquiring and publishing games like candy, while Nintendo has achieved nearly full dominance in Japan with the Switch and has nearly wiped out PlayStation sales entirely.
Despite Microsoft’s massive acquisition with Zenimax Media and Bethesda Softworks, they haven’t dabbled that much in big third-party exclusive deals as much as they did in the Xbox 360 era, especially not with Japanese titles. The recent push in Japan from Microsoft seems to be just taking off, however, even with targeted but smart outreach like popular Japanese Vtubers.
If Kojima is considering Microsoft as publisher for his next big title and actually does approve of the deal, it would be yet another blow for Sony after they published Kojima’s first title since leaving Konami, the PC and PS4-exclusive Death Stranding.