Kojima Productions released the latest (and fourth) episode of their web series HideoTube, in which Hideo Kojima and Kenji Yano look back at E3 2016, where Death Stranding was revealed during the PlayStation conference.
This episode was recorded in the cafetaria of Sony Interactive Entertainment in Japan.
It starts off with Kojima and Yano trying out some of the meals served here.
After their lunch, the two talked about Death Stranding’s unveiling at last month’s E3 show, and the months leading up to this.
Also, one of the crab carcasses is meant to look like a human face, another one like an open hand, tying into Blake’s poem. At first they created the crabs by hand, but it ended up looking too fake, so they eventually captured a real crab. The same goes for the sand and the sky, but for the dolphins and the whales they obviously couldn’t.
“This time I wanted to show off a crying, naked Norman. Of course towards the end you get to see the suave, cool looking Norman people are used to, but here I wanted to give people a glimpse of a less known, more expressive Norman.”
Kojima also explained in detail how he came across the song he used for this trailer (“I’ll Keep Coming” from the Icelandic band LOW ROAR) when he was visiting a record shop in Iceland a few years ago.
After that they talked about the reveal at E3. Only 5 people at Sony knew about this, to avoid leaks. The studio went to some lengths to keep everything under wraps.
“So every single year, there are leaks before E3. No matter how careful we are, in this era, something always makes its way to internet. Up until this year at least half of our stuff had been leaked… […] And this time around it was supposed to be a surprise, so we didn’t let more than 5 people at Sony know about it. We kept it extremely secret. And as a surprise, we absolutely didn’t want this to be leaked. So we were scared about that, but it turned out fine.”
“As E3 was getting close, many other titles were getting leaked, and we were thinking, how many could be left. We were nervous, could barely sleep. I couldn’t even tweet that I was going to E3. Every time I go, I tweet from the airport and stuff like that, but this time; none of that. I never lied though, I just didn’t tweet about it myself. If people figured out I was in LA they might have made the connection, so I tried to keep a low profile. For the hotel, I didn’t stay downtown, but at a hotel that was a bit farther off.”
People still spotted him in restaurants, but luckily they helped in keeping his presence a secret. It was only until Kojima’s visit to the screening of Neon Demon, and his appearance on Geoff Keighley’s E3 show, that people knew Hideo was there. Kojima explained that initially he wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to appear on this show, but he went anyway, wearing the ‘DS’ shirt. “Yes, if I’m going to be there, I want to do something mysterious,” Kojima explained.
During the Sony press conference itself, while Kojima was waiting backstage, Yano was in the audience where he shot some footage. He was surprised by the size of the theatre, which can hold between 3 and 4 thousand people. When Kojima appeared on stage, people in the audience were cheering and chanting his name.
Kojima also explained how it happened that he outran the ‘walkway of light’. “In the back of the stage, behind the curtains were rolled down, they had built this vertical walkway that I was guided up. This walkway was pretty slippery but thankfully my shoes have good grip so that helped me out there. So I was guided up there in the dark, and there’s a mark on the floor telling me where to stand and wait. At the second rehearsal, all of a sudden the mark is gone.”
“It was actually pretty dangerous cause the platform I was standing on wasn’t wide at all, and behind it was just a drop all the way down. […] So I’m standing there waiting, it was pretty scary, the thing rocked quite a bit too. […] So the curtains are rolled up and for the main show you had those lights lighting up the way down right? For the rehearsal we used the Mad Max soundtrack CD and the lights’ timing were matched to that. However, for the main show we had a live orchestra playing and the tempo was slightly different.”
“So the tempo’s somewhat different but you can’t stop so I figured I’d just keep going. And so the legend was born; “Hideo Kojima – The Man Faster Than Light”.”
After that, Kojima showed some reaction videos from the internet of people losing their mind over the announcement.
Kojima: “How was it being there in the audience?”
Yano: “Well first off, the moment Norman came on, the reaction was incredible. From there on it was just soo loud the whole way through! It was hard to know what was even going on!”
Kojima: “At the beginning of the show, watching from backstage, when God of War came on, the reaction was so immense, the whole building was shaking. It was really impressive so I was looking over at the Sony Worldwide Studio-people, and we were giving each other thumbs up like, ‘today’s going to be good!’.”
Yano also recorded some footage, which you can see around the 39:00 mark. Everyone who watched the conference remembers Kojima’s words ‘I’m back’, and Kojima said he really felt like he was welcomed back during E3.
In preparation of the episode, the studio asked listeners to send in their own related artwork and parodies, some of which were shown during the episode.
Since Death Stranding’s reveal at E3, Kojima Productions has had a lot of applications, probably because people now had a clearer idea about what kind of projects they would be working on. However, the studio is still looking for new talent. “We’ll be starting full production of our game from now on so it’s a tough road that lies ahead. Of course, all news that we can give you guys, we are happy to share as we go.”
The next episode will focus on Kojima’s and Yano’s top ten movies of the first half of 2016, but everyone can participate by sending in their personal top 10 list. Episode 5 is expected to be released next month.