Hideo Kojima took Phil Spencer to a Japanese ceremony to purify his new Xbox horror game OD

Kojima and Phil Spencer
(Image credit: Hideo Kojima (X))

Hideo Kojima has revealed a fascinating tidbit about the development of his new Xbox horror game OD: He brought Xbox boss Phil Spencer and other members of the Microsoft gaming team to a traditional Japanese purification ceremony.

This was revealed during the long, long-awaited return of Kojima's HideoTube YouTube series (timestamped here), during which he spoke for a brief moment about OD, also referred to as Overdose. Kojima declined to say anything substantial about the game, but he did say information would be revealed "gradually."

More interestingly, to me anyway, he showed an instantly classic picture of him with Spencer and Xbox president Sarah bond and explained that, due to the nature of OD, he joined them at an Oharai purification ceremony, presumably to cleanse the game and keep away evil spirits.

(Image credit: Hideo Kojima)

The picture seems to have been taken from a phone, but you can still pretty clearly see Spencer, Bond, and Kojima donning a ceremonial sash with Japanese text printed lengthwise.

"You know how before making horror movies or dramas, people go to a shrine for Oharai?" Kojima said. "Well, this is a scary game, so we did the Oharai ceremony with Microsoft."

According to Wikipedia, Oharai, also spelled Ōharae, is a ritual traditionally held biannually to purify a large group of people for whatever reason. In this case, Kojima is strongly suggesting it was performed in order to cleanse or purify his collaborative project with Xbox, OD, which is a very strange-looking horror game that probably could some sort of cleansing.

While we didn't learn much else about OD from the video, we know it'll explore the nature of fear and blur the lines between video game and movie, which Kojima is increasingly leaning into with OD, Death Stranding 2, and the recently announced, untitled action-espionage game.

OD is just one of many upcoming horror games we can't wait to get spooked by.

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.