Over the past several years, larger companies have taken the practice of partnering with developers to release exclusive content under their brand. Sony's acquisition of Insomniac Games in 2019 followed by Microsoft purchasing Bethesda in 2020 were examples of some major power moves intending to build on the foundation of their respective companies.
Following the announcement of the surprise reboot of Perfect Dark, led by in-house developer The Initiative, all eyes are currently on Microsoft as many gamers await the next chapter in the Microsoft saga. Some gamers, however, may be looking a bit too much into specific details, mistaking them for official teasers and announcements.
Earlier today, the second day of Microsoft's AI and Gaming Research Summit kicked off, a two-day conference event discussing the future of AI and machine learning in video games. During the conference, the executive vice-president Phil Spencer was seen with a figurine of Ludens on his shelf. Ludens is the mascot of Kojima Productions, Hideo Kojima's own studio following his break-up with Konami.
While innocuous by itself, as it is nothing more than a figure on a shelf, the Ludens figure didn't stop gamers from going on Twitter to identify the rest of Spencer's shelf with some making a tongue-in-cheek reference towards the absurdity. In the Twitter thread, another user noticed a copy of Deck Nine's Life Is Strange: Before The Storm on Spencer's shelf, further adding to the joke that Microsoft is in "talks" with acquiring the many developers whose products are featured on his shelf.
Kojima Productions was created by Hideo Kojima in 2015 following his split from long-time developer Konami. In 2019, Kojima Productions released Death Stranding, built upon the groundwork of the canceled title Silent Hills using the likeliness and voice of actor Norman Reedus. Since its release, the latest rumor involving Death Stranding is talks of an extended version releasing on the PS4 and PS5. This "extended" release would expand on the story, tying up loose ends and offer a streamlined experience. Neither Kojima Productions nor Sony had confirmed this information.
With the rumor that Microsoft is looking towards making a blockbuster purchase on the level of their Bethesda acquisition, Microsoft potentially buying a company such as Kojima Productions isn't something that is entirely off the table. The absurdity of such a claim existing solely from a figurine on a desk, however, gave the internet something to jest about.
In 2015, The Coalition released Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, a remaster of the original Gears of War game with improved visuals and other new bells and whistles. Since then, fans have been wondering if the other games in the Gears of War series may one day get a similar treatment. A recent tweet by the official Gears of War Twitter page kicked up rumors that a Gears of War 2 remaster could be next in line, but those rumors have since been put to rest.
The Gears of War Twitter page showed an image of someone holding some loose COG tags, which are the Gears of War universe equivalent of military dog tags. The image was somewhat reminiscent of the Gears of War 2 cover art, so speculation started running rampant that it was a legitimate tease for Gears of War 2 Remastered. Instead of letting fans have false hope, the Gears of War Twitter account shut the rumors down, saying, "We LOVE the enthusiasm...but we are all Gears 5 up over here."
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