Not the tease! Nicolas Cage may be in a Hideo Kojima game

Hideo Kojima and Nicolas Cage posing in front of the Ludens statue.
(Image credit: Hideo Kojima)

Hollywood maniac-in-chief Nicolas Cage is, it appears, getting into games in a big way. Last month brought the news that Nicolas Cage would play Nicolas Cage starring as Nicolas Cage in Dead by Daylight later this year, which was swiftly followed by a scene-stealing cameo at Summer Games Fest where Cage very sincerely told players that "I want you to know when you're playing the Nic Cage survivor, I want you to know that we're one, that we're fused".

Yuh huh. Well, a certain game director slash movie buff has clearly been watching all this with interest, and he wants a piece of the action. Hideo Kojima is a longtime fan of the actor and yesterday welcomed Cage to Kojima Productions.

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That picture is so remarkable that I almost think it has to be an AI deepfake: but no, this is real life, Snake! Note in particular that Kojima's had this picture taken with the Ludens mascot, which (among other things) represents the studio's goal of creating new forms of play.

The eagle-eyed among you may also notice that Kojima is wearing a pin badge, and there's no need for a computer enhanced look. The director showed off the badge in all its glory several years ago, and it is a small Nicolas Cage face covered in blood and screaming. It's from the film Mandy, where Cage plays an alcoholic lumberjack who goes on the rampage when a cult burns his girlfriend alive. Cheery stuff.

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Kojima would later retweet his best bud Geoff Keighley making googly eyes at the picture, which I mention only because, during his Summer Game fest appearance, Cage said the DBD role allowed him to "meet a whole new audience", after which Keighley joked "maybe he'll be in a Hideo Kojima game next". Hmm.

It's important to note that Kojima Productions has several ongoing projects as well as Death Stranding 2, and now has its own movie studio, while Kojima himself keeps busy with a podcast and promoting documentaries about what a genius he is. So Cage could be doing anything.

But for my money, and this is speculation, the most likely outcome is that Cage will be a prepper in Death Stranding 2. In the original game these survivors live alone in the world and Sam delivers what they need, which in some cases can be quite esoteric stuff. Kojima loves to get celebrity friends scanned-in to the game and cast as one of these characters, and Death Stranding featured among others talkshow host Conan O’Brien, horror artist Junji Ito, director Edgar Wright, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Remedy's Sam Lake, and Geoff Keighley. My money's on a bunch of Nic Cage deliveries where you bring him the last surviving copies of his movies or something.

Either way, the vague tease is Kojima's modus operandi and has been for years. Death Stranding 2 has its big reveal moments, and no doubt we'll be getting another Hideo Kojima trailer directed by Hideo Kojima (written by Hideo Kojima) soon enough, but in-between these more traditional reveals the director on an almost daily basis leaves a steady trail of breadcrumbs for the fans to pore over and speculate on. Why say Nicolas Cage is making a cameo in Death Stranding 2, when you can just post a picture and let the world do the work for you?

Kojima later shared more images from his Japanese account, saying "We received a signature on the Kojima Productions annual signboard from Nicolas".

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"To Hideo and the team," reads the note, "thank you for the incredible tour! Nicolas Cage".

Who knows! The best reaction of all came from Twitter user ZeeShanKarimi: "Is that really Nicolas Cage? Or is that John Travolta wearing Cage's face?"

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."