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The Real Reason Kojima Doesn't Believe He's A Prophet

In the world of gaming, Hideo Kojima is kind of a big deal. He's the creator behind the Metal Gear Solid series and Death Stranding. Not only has his work been seen as revolutionary within the field of video games, but he's been heralded as something of a prophet by many. His reputation as a pioneer has come to make many believe that he has outright predicted world events through his storytelling.

In a recent interview as part of Geoff Keighley's Summer Game Fest, Kojima jokingly explained why he doesn't believe the "prophet" moniker rings particularly true. As with many things in recent years, it all leads back to Death Stranding.  

As Kojima's translator relayed for the audience, the video game auteur explained, "Again, I would like to say I'm not a prophet, because if I was, you know, I would probably have created a game that would sell more."

This was clearly said in jest, but Kojima is clearly making a joke about the commercial performance of Death Stranding. While critics have mostly liked the game, it hasn't exactly been a massive success in the sales department. In May, Kojima said the game was "profitable," which doesn't exactly mean that it was a hit. 

Still, with the game's recent release on the PC, Death Stranding may be poised to find an even wider audience than before. Eurogamer's review of the Death Stranding PC port said, "the bottom line is that there's nothing that looks like this on PC and certainly nothing that plays like it and I'd urge you to check it out."

But that's beside the point. Death Stranding is just the latest in a series of Kojima games that have seemingly predicted the future. It was released just slightly before the outbreak of COVID-19 started driving people indoors and having an effect on the video game industry as a whole. The story of Death Stranding may be one of Kojima's most high-concept pieces to date, but it also hit home in some unexpected ways. 

The game takes players into a dystopian world in which people cannot leave their homes for fear that the outside world will kill them. Not only that, but delivery drivers have become the world's main lifeline in Death Stranding, bringing supplies and messages to people who can't leave home. Despite what Kojima may say to the contrary, Death Stranding feels like it predicted a lot of what the world would go through in 2020.

As one fan said recently, "In light of recent quarantine efforts and social distancing, Death Stranding takes on a new light for me and seems more prescient than ever in its themes and symbolism. I can also better understand why some only speak through a holographic communicator & want to avoid contact."

Previous Kojima games have also seemingly predicted the future. The Metal Gear Solid series seemingly anticipated the use of drones in war, as well as the rise of "fake news" and manipulation of data through social media. In many ways, Kojima has become the human equivalent of The Simpsons, a show that has also seemingly predicted not only the future of the country, but aspects of the video game industry in particular.

Sure, Kojima probably doesn't have any actual prophetic powers. However, his concepts are usually somewhere ahead of the curve, which can lead to his ideas seeming somewhat prescient in retrospect.

Kojima has always kind of downplayed his accomplishments, which has only further endeared him to many in the gaming community. His work has attracted praise from all over, culminating in a special award ceremony this year. In February, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awarded Kojima with one of its highest honors, a BAFTA Fellowship. This was awarded in recognition of Kojima's "outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television."

In other words, even if he doesn't think he's a prophet, there are still plenty of people who view his work as indispensable. Kojima was already hard at work on his next game as of late last year. According to the man himself, he didn't even take much of a break around the holidays, as he's already engrossed in some mysterious new concept. 

We don't know what the new game will be, but there are plenty of reasons to be excited for whatever it turns out to be. Whatever Kojima's next project is, we may want to pay close attention and take notes. You know, just in case it pays off in the future.