Bad PR 105: Konami Bans Kojima from Game Awards

You know what’s never a smart idea in PR – insulting a star.  Especially when that star has been the face of your company for over ten years.  If there is one thing that will sink a company instantly, it’s when you give the finger to one of your star players in a way that is both very public, and very ugly.  That’s what happened with Konami at the Game Awards the other day.  They decided to go out of their way to give the finger to the man who put their name on the map.  It was immature, it was asinine, and I guarantee that they are NEVER going to be able to come back from.  At least, I can’t think of a way that they could.  Let’s talk about it.

At the Game Awards, the new Metal Gear Solid won the award for Best Action-Adventure game.  That’s pretty cool.  Kiefer Sutherland was there to accept the award, but you know who was absent – Hideo Kojima.  He wasn’t there.  It was more than a little odd.  In what was a stunning display of bravery from what I have always believed to be a spineless worm, Geoff Keighley came out and set the record straight.  He said that Kojima had every intention of being at the Awards ceremony and accepting the award, but Konami’s lawyers got in touch with him and told him that he was not to show his face at the ceremony, on penalty of legal action.  That took balls, Keighley.  Nice work.

What the fuck was Konami thinking?!  I legitimately don’t get how they can possibly think that this was a good idea.  For those who don’t know, Konami’s shitting on Kojima has been an act of sheer amazement for those outside of the situation looking in.  Over and over again, this company has made sure that their hatred of Kojima is public and out for all to see.  From taking his name off the box of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, to destroying all production of Silent Hills and taking P.T. out of existence, for good.  These people hate Kojima, and wanted to make sure that he was as insulted as possible.  All culminating in what happened at the Game Awards.  Unreal.

It’s like Konami doesn’t remember the fact that Kojima made them.  Or maybe they are simply angry about that.  It’s like they hate Kojima because of the fact that he is all that keeps their company financially solvent.  And because it is abundantly clear that they have abandoned all pretense of wanting to be nice about this.  Konami’s entire mantra seems to be – Fuck Kojima!  We hate you!  We hate you so much!  It’s thanks to you that…what, exactly?  That you had financial success?  That you made games?  Given the fact that you’ve cut your gaming staff into eighths, and those who stay are treated like dog-shit, maybe that’s it.  Whatever the reason, this is what they have chosen to do.

How can they come back from this?  When you spit in the face of the person who made you great, when you go out of your way to insult him, and then make sure that he knows that he is shit to you, how on Earth do you recover from something like that?  This is the biggest PR clusterfuck that I’ve ever seen.  Period.

Who is going to support them after they have done this?  The company swears up and down that they are not leaving the AAA gaming world.  Who is going to buy their games?  They might as well have shouted their hatred from the highest hill of all the people who are fans of Kojima and the work that he does.  It kills me that he is still under contractual obligation to Konami.  This guy needs to cut these fucking assholes loose.  Why are these people making their disdain of this guy so public?  It really is baffling, to me.  Whenever a company doesn’t like someone, it’s always treated the same.  The person is taken into a room and told that they are going to be cut loose, and the company pretends that they like them and are totally cool with that person.  Then, you let the person go and that’s it.  But they are doing everything in their power to make sure that all of us understand that they hate Hideo Kojima so much, not having a care in the world for how that makes them look, or what people might thing.  Baffling.

This company is done.  They’re fucking done.  Way I see it, there is no way that they are coming back from this.  I hear that their pachinko machines bring them in a lot of money.  I hope that that’s enough for them.  There’s nothing else to be found.  Gaming is dead, to them.  Maybe that was the goal.  Maybe they have come to hate gaming so much that they want their final days in the industry to be as ugly as possible, just so that it ends on the lowest note possible.  Like Elliot Arnold in Big Trouble.  I don’t know, and I guess it doesn’t matter.  The end of Konami.  I’d feel bad for them, except for the fact that they did this to themselves.  Fuck ’em.

Until next time, a quote,

“In retrospect, I should have written the daycare crisis piece, and never opened Elliot Arnold Advertising.”  -Elliot Arnold, Big Trouble

Peace out,



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