The teaser trailer for Death Stranding got a lot of hearts racing, but for horror auteur Guillermo del Toro, it also signifies a strike back against past grievances.
On Twitter, the bitter ghosts of the past could be heard rattling their chains when Guillermo del Toro used the Death Stranding reveal at the Game Awards to lash out at Konami. Pour yourself a nice tall glass of water before reading on, because this beef is pretty salty:
Guillermo del Toro Stands Up For Kojima on Twitter
And it doesn't stop there...
Fans of #HorrorGames will likely know what this is about. In 2012, Konami tapped #HideoKojima for Silent Hills, intended to be the ninth main installment in the Silent Hill series. Guillermo del Toro was brought in to co-direct, and in 2014, mini horror game P.T. was released as a free 'playable teaser' for Silent Hills.
P.T. was incredibly well-received by both players and industry critics, and excitement for Silent Hills reached fever pitch. Sadly, escalating conflict between Kojima and Konami led to Kojima breaking off from the company after the completion of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Silent Hills, despite all the anticipation generated by P.T., ended up being strangled in its crib.
Horror Bros Stick It To Konami
Contractual obligations keep Kojima from weighing in on the drama with Konami in any detail, but tensions have flared up publicly since the split. His creative partners from P.T., including Guillermo del Toro and actor Norman Reedus, don't appear to be under any such constraints and have occasionally taken pot shots at Konami on Kojima's behalf. Reedus hasn't been quite as explicit as del Toro in his criticism, but he did take a playful dig at Konami by posting the above image to his instagram account.
Barred from attending The Game Awards 2015 by Konami, Hideo Kojima was the star of The Game Awards 2016, not only picking up an award but also showing off a new #DeathStranding trailer at the event. We were lucky enough to be able to talk to him at the time, although the beef with Konami was not up for discussion.
The Death Stranding trailer that kicked off the tirade:
Guillermo del Toro doesn't seem to be under any obligation to play nice with Konami, however, and his celebration of the Death Stranding team at the expensive of Konami is getting a lot of cheers from fans in the Twitter peanut gallery, many of whom were sorely disappointed by the cancellation of Silent Hills. Given that Kojima, del Toro, and actor Norman Reedus are all involved with Death Stranding, it's clear that the success of the game will feel like vindication for the creatives against the corporation.
Fan accounts such as the one below have been cheering Kojima against Konami for months:
Even Kojima himself, while he won't bash Konami in public, appreciates that del Toro is cheering him on:
Come For The Drama, Stay For The Feels
While it's del Toro's expletives that have garnered the lion's share of attention, the real exciting story here is the obvious affection and close bond that exists between the Death Stranding crew, del Toro and Kojima in particular. Death Stranding may bring us quality heart-rending terror as filtered through a heart-warming friendship.
There's a lot to get excited about when it comes to Death Stranding, from the involvement of Mads Mikkelson, to the promise of P.T. style mysteries for fans to decode, to del Toro's turn in front of the camera. It's hard not to root for the game, given this story of creative friends snatching victory from the jaws of defeat and corporate meddling.
We'll hopefully be documenting Death Stranding's rise to success as more is revealed in 2017. If its star keeps rising like this, there'll be enough sweet Konami tears to go round.
Which Horror Genius Would You Rather Hug?