Hideo Kojima to be honored with BAFTA’s highest award this year


Hideo Kojima will be receiving BAFTA’s highest award this April, as was recently announced by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

The renowned Japanese game designer will be picking up the BAFTA Fellowship award during the BAFTA Games Awards ceremony taking place this year, and said he was honored to pick the award in a statement.

“Thank you very much for this precious BAFTA Fellowship award. I am very honored, and would like to take this moment to reflect on the many predecessors that came before me, as I deeply respect their contributions to entertainment, whether in movies, television, or games”, said Kojima.

The video game veteran also said that he “will continue my commitment to creating new and innovative ways that will push the world of ‘play’ entertainment forward”.

But although Kojima might be speaking like he had already received the award, the actual BAFTA Game Awards ceremony will take place on April 2 in London.

The video game nominees (aside from Hideo Kojima’s Fellowship) have not been announced yet, but Sony’s God of War game picked up the top prize last year, winning the Game of the Year award at the 2019 BAFTA awards.

Hideo Kojima does seem like a good choice to be honored with BAFTA’s Fellowship award, though, which is awarded by the Academy to individuals who’ve made outstanding contributions to not only games, but also films and music.

Kojima has been making video games for over 30 years now. He began in 1987 at Japanese giant Konami, working on the first game in the Metal Gear series, which made the transition to 3D graphics with the launch of Metal Gear Solid for PlayStation in 1998. The action and stealth series has sold millions of copies, the last instalment of which was 2015’s Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

Sadly, The Phantom Pain was released during a tumultuous time for Kojima, as his relationship with Konami ended in tears and he had to leave the company via the back door.

His video game studio (Kojima Productions) became independent as a result. But even if some were predicting bad things for Kojima and company, Kojima shut up his naysayers last year with the release of Death Stranding, a PS4 exclusive which ended up being one of 2019’s top-rated and top-selling games.

Like other Kojima games, Death Stranding has long cutscenes, and a cast of actors like Norman Reedus and Mads Mikkelsen play the game’s characters. This is fitting for a game made by a man who once famously claimed that “70 % of my body is made of movies”.

So while BAFTA might be better known for giving awards to films, it seems awarding the BAFTA Fellowship award to Kojima was a no brainer this year. Earlier recipients of the award include industry legend John Carmack, Valve’s boss Gabe Newell, video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and SimCity creator Will Wright.

Kojima is in good company, then, so hopefully this year’s BAFTA Games Awards will be as great as previous editions, and the best games will get the awards they deserve when the show gets rolling on April 2.

Hideo Kojima (link) [Creative Commons (link)]