When it comes to marketing, Hideo Kojima is a bit of a madman. Revealing a game with a simple trailer at E3 or something? Pffft, that’s child’s play. Not that he’s against that, mind you —and the reveal trailer for Death Stranding does get people talking— but it’s his more devilish marketing stunts that really leave an impression. In fact, his trolling has become such a staple of his that some people have mistakenly labeled real-world events as publicity stunts for an upcoming Kojima project. It’s not too surprising, though, as the creator of the Metal Gear series does go to extreme lengths to tease fans. Here are four examples of just how trollish the man can be.
The Phantom Pain and Moby Dick Studio
The Phantom Pain was a brand new I.P. shown off at the 2012 Spike Video Game Awards. It was an action game being developed by a new Swedish company known as Moby Dick Studio. Except, all of that was a lie. In actuality, this was Kojima’s sneaky reveal of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, very much developed by Kojima Productions.
Interestingly, this was one facade that clever fans didn’t fall for. There were two major clues left in the trailer that pointed to this being a game in the long-running Metal Gear franchise. The most obvious clue being that the guy with the hook for a hand (who we only see from behind) bears a striking resemblance to Big Boss from Metal Gear, which we all now know is in fact who it is. The other major clue is that the words “Metal Gear Solid V” can slot right into the gaps in The Phantom Pain’s logo.
In hindsight, it seems pretty obvious that this was a new Metal Gear game, but Kojima still went ahead with his ruse. It certainly got the internet talking about his game, which ultimately made it an effective marketing decision. How devious.