Hideo Kojima had a video chat with somebody today, and everybody wants to know who.
Kojima's personal assistant Ayako Terashima often uses her personal Twitter account to send out daily messages with pictures of the game director working, traveling, and relaxing. The latest such daily image shows Kojima and another employee - likely Kojima Productions head of communications Aki Saito, whose role often includes English-language translating for Kojima, though the mask makes it tough to be sure - at their offices on a video chat.
本日の小島監督。Hideo Kojima today. pic.twitter.com/mMPAg6YkFvNovember 5, 2021
On the other end of the chat is a figure whom Terashima has blurred out, save for the top of their head and a little bit of their shoulder. If it was just a standard call to a usual business partner, which wouldn't reveal anything about what Kojima Productions was working on, Terashima wouldn't go through the trouble of blurring it out, right? That's the assumption inquisitive fans are working from as they attempt to place the hairline to the human.
Early guesses include the usual suspects of prominent gaming executives: it could be head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst, whom Kojima worked with on Death Stranding and who also has pride of place on Kojima's mousepad (seriously); or perhaps it's Xbox boss Phil Spencer, which would line up with rumors that Kojima Productions is in talks with Xbox to publish its next game. Honestly, a lot of people in the games industry could fit the bill.
Or maybe this entire line of inquisition is based on flawed reasoning, and Terashima just blurred out some perfectly mundane business partner who didn't give explicit permission to put their picture on social media. When it's Kojima Productions you're talking about, you can never quite be sure what's a tease and what's just an oddball aside.
Speaking of that alleged Kojima and Microsoft partnership, a rumored Xbox MMO could also be used to help make Kojima's next game.