Hideo Kojima’s video game Death Stranding received nine nominations at The Game Awards 2019. This has drawn a lot of attention to the show’s creator Geoff Keighley. Let’s take a closer look at The Game Awards controversy.
Kojima’s history with The Game Awards
Konami’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, directed by Hideo Kojima, was nominated for Best Action/Adventure as well as Game of the Year at The Game Awards 2015 . This was a strange time for Kojima and Konami. It seemed like Kojima was all but out of the company. Despite this fans still expected Kojima to be in attendance to support his game. But then behind the scenes Konami’s lawyers intervened and prevented Kojima from attending The Game Awards ceremony.
One of the MGS V’s voice actors accepted the award on Kojima’s behalf When they won Best Action/Adventure. Keighly took a moment during the show to explain Kojima’s absence at this time. “Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight,” said Keighley, “but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s award ceremony to accept any awards. He’s still under an employment contract and it’s disappointing.”
The following year Kojima returned in a flurry of fan fare to The Game Awards 2016 to receive that year’s Industry Icon Award. At the same show he also showed a world premiere trailer for his newly revealed game in development, Death Stranding.
The buzz around Death Stranding remained strong right up to its release on November 8, 2019. Every trailer had featured bizarre imagery and puzzling narrative that enthralled gamers. When it got in critic’s hands the game was highly praised and received an overall, very favourable score. And guess who was at the top of the list of Game Awards 2019 nominees? Death Stranding. Almost immediately everyone started looking closer at Geoff Keighley for his public friendship of Kojima and support of Death Stranding. The question became is Keighley the reason that Kojima’s game received so many nominations?
The official answer from Keighley and The Game Awards is no. According to the Awards’ website Keighley and the entire advisory board do not vote for either nominees or award winners. But that fact doesn’t change how the situation appears. And it seems to appear to gamers that Kojima is being handed Game of the Year 2019 by his friend.
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