The video game industry is full of big names, individuals who are almost as well known as the companies and games they're involved with - but even big shot auteurs can hit rough patches, as was the case with Hideo Kojima after his nasty breakup with Konami. It was a lucky encounter with fans that helped him build his own company in the aftermath.
Kojima Productions is, now, a major AAA powerhouse best known for Death Stranding. Before the Norman Reedus led "strand-type game" was a financial hit however, Hideo Kojima wasn't exactly swimming in the kind of capital needed to build a company.
In a recent lengthy interview with The Guardian, Kojima reminisced about how in the early days, he was renting office space from landlords who happened to be Metal Gear fans - an arrangement that came in handy because at the time Kojima Productions didn't have the kind of money that would be needed to rent that studio.
Kojima recounts in the interview how difficult it was to get his independent studio started. Losing the position of Konami Vice President caused banks and landlords to treat him as a "nobody", and he was unable to lease office space and was refused when he sought starting capital for his company.
Despite the murky split with Konami and the rough start, Kojima managed to secure a rental agreement when the owner of a particular office space - which is where Kojima Productions would go on to create Death Stranding - who turned out to be a big fan of the Metal Gear franchise, which is probably the game creator's best known work.
Things took an upward swing from there, with Death Stranding becoming a smash hit, seeing ports and a Director's Cut re-release following initial launch, which was met by critical acclaim and financial success. Kojima Productions, no longer relying on fan enthusiasm to rent a studio, is working on its second AAA title.
In the interview, which does go on for some time, Kojima touches on other subjects as well - his personal inspiration for both the Metal Gear series and Death Stranding, and his feelings on seeing people experience his early works these days.
Luckily Kojima Studios is a good place now, and we'll probably soon be hearing about its future games.