Hideo Kojima is reportedly in talks with Xbox to publish his next game.
According to a report from Venturebeat (opens in new tab), the Death Stranding and Metal Gear Solid developer "is in talks with Microsoft about publishing his next game, according to a source familiar with the matter." The report also suggests that the potential deal has been in the works for several weeks already, stating that Xbox chief Phil Spencer deliberately featured a statue of the Kojima Productions company mascot in the background of a recent stream as a hint towards the partnership.
It's not known whether the deal has been signed yet, but Venturebeat also suggests that "Kojima is the focus of a Microsoft plan to leverage Japanese talent." Spencer has previously denied reports that Xbox is turning its attention to the region, in which it has historically underperformed in comparison to PlayStation - when the PS5 and Xbox Series X launched in November 2020, Sony's new console outsold Microsoft's effort by nearly five to one. Whether or not Xbox is focusing on Japanese developers, there's little denying that the potential exclusivity offered by a publishing deal with Kojima would be a significant coup for a console family that has struggled with big-name exclusives in recent years, and as a potent addition to the recent Bethesda acquisition.
With no official announcement from either Microsoft or Kojima Productions, it's worth remembering that even if these talks did happen, there's no guarantee that an agreement will be made. It's also important to note that Death Stranding, Kojima's first game with his new studio, was a PlayStation launch exclusive. That said, the studio confirmed it was working on a new game back in October last year, with some suggestions pointing to an announcement that's not very far away.
For more of what's in store for Microsoft, check out our list of upcoming Xbox Series X games.