The Best In The Industry: Influential Gaming's 2016 Review

This is the part where I take the time to talk about one person that stood out to me this year. One person, be it developer, gamer, executive, or anything else relating to the video game industry, who shined this year. And I can't think of a person who deserved to be recognized more than Hideo Kojima.

You can tell me his games weren't ever that great. You can tell me there were developers that suffered worse in the depths of Ubisoft and EA. You can tell me we need to stop feeding his clearly enormous ego. I can't say any of these assertions are wrong. But you can't tell me Kojima didn't handle the disaster that was his life in 2015 like a champion. Konami certainly was ahead of its time, having their 2016 in 2015. I like to think that they did the same thing the King Of All Cosmos did in Katamari Damacy, where they had one giant drunken rampage that destroyed all of the stars. In 2014, Konami was going on pretty normal with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Castlevania Lord Of Shadows 2, and even announcing a really good looking Silent Hill game, which impressed me despite my indifference to horror games in general. In 2015, Konami cancelled the critically acclaimed Silent Hills project, fire Kojima, started putting their entire future into Pachiko machines and Pro Evolution Soccer, treated their employees like prisoners, wouldn't let Kojima even accept his award for his game, and made an absurd public statement about mobile games being the "Future Of Gaming" and things like "our games must move from selling things like 'items' to selling things like 'features,'". #Fuckkonami is still hashtag people use on Twitter, just because of how absolutely insane they went. They went quiet in 2016 with their inevitable hang over, with the only noteworthy thing being the announcement of Metal Gear Survive, which is like a co-op survival Metal Gear Solid V, that got a pretty meh reaction.

How easy would it have been for Kojima to go into a depression, or get really angry, or even just talk bad about Konami in general? Anyone would. Grant Kirkhope told everyone who was against a new Banjo Kazooie "Fuck'em all" after Yooka Laylee got funded. Nobody lost respect for him. Everyone sided with him. But Kojima stayed stone faced, bucked up, got together a new studio, and already is working on a new game with Sony and the gaming community behind him 100%. Kojima never had to say "Fuck you, Konami". He showed it. He showed that he was right by the world agreeing with him. And that deserves all the praise I can muster.

My Best In The Industry: Hideo Kojima

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