Hideo Kojima hasn’t exactly made a secret of his reluctance to stay onboard the Metal Gear Solid series; every time another sequel rolls around, it’s announced as his last — until Hideo quickly remembers the mafia-esque nature of the Japanese gaming industry means the only way out of Konami is in a body bag. Hell, if Kojima’s employers ever wanted to wreck their aging wunderkind, they’d simply have to mail an box containing his body of work to John Carpenter, James Cameron, and Ridley Scott, causing an avalanche of lawsuits to bury the famed developer until his inevitable death-faking and subsequent identity changing surgery.
Started and scrapped between the development cycles of Metal Gear Solids 2, 3, 4, and Peace Walker, Escape from Minako promised a less-stealthy take on Kojima’s standard style. The game put players in control of a humble robot manufacturer imprisoned at the evil Minako Corporation, forced to build a line of increasing complex and time-consuming behemoths against his will; throughout EFM’s ten stages, said protagonist would slay floors of cyborg executives, finally escaping at the end for a tearful reunion with his family and the concept known by many as “leisure.” When exposed to Kojima’s presentation for the game, Konami’s higher-ups couldn’t help but notice the strong allegory between Escape from Minako and Kojima’s actual working life. To counter such claims, the famed developer simply presented a picture showing the stacks of cash this new IP would bring in. The brass at Konami responded in turn with a 1:10-scale diorama depicting the money a new Metal Gear game would generate, complete with a model train that, when fully built, would carry an entire board of directors through tunnels upon tunnels of currency. A lesson for you would-be developers: when working on a pitch, never neglect the size of your money shot.
Well done, Mackey.