Just when I thought the saga of The Phantom Pain couldn’t get any more bizarre, an interesting conspiracy theory has surfaced. GTTV’s Geoff Keighley recently met with “Joakim Mogren,” the man who is supposedly the CEO of Moby Dick Studio and the creator of The Phantom Pain. The interview was short and strange in nature, and it ended quite abruptly when Keighley pointed out that the game appears to run on Hideo Kojima’s FOX Engine.
No one is quite sure who Joakim Mogren (whose first name is an anagram of Kojima) really is, but it’s a virtual certainty that the man Keighley interviewed is not really the driving force behind The Phantom Pain. In fact, a few interesting clues have led some to speculate quite the extreme possibility: Joakim Mogren is not a man at all; Geoff Keighley was “interviewing” a FOX Engine demo.
There’s no denying that Keighly’s interview with Joakim Mogren seemed, at the very least, just a bit off. The short nature of the interview, mixed with Joakim’s overly dramatic reaction to mention of the FOX Engine, gives the interview a very “scripted” feel. Is it possible that the “interview” was actually just a set of scripted questions and answers between Keighley and a virtual Joakim Mogren? IGN pieced together some of the clues in a video.
When you break down the information it’s hard to say just what was going on in that interview, but something definitely seems a little fishy. Something I picked up on the first time I watched the video (but didn’t really think much of) is the fact that you never see Keighley and Mogren in the same shot. The meeting supposedly took place in a hotel room, but nothing in the background seems to support this, and it doesn’t even seem like the two are in the same room. Keighley is situated in front of a brightly-lit red backdrop, while Mogren is in a dim, murky area where the words “The Phantom Pain” and “Moby Dick Studio” are visible all over the background. Did the two set up backdrops and opt for oddly contrasting lighting in their respective halves of the room?
So if this is all an elaborate simulation, what’s the point? Hideo Kojima is set to unveil the new FOX Engine – which he believes will be the best graphics engine in the world – at GDC on March 27. His session (which was recently extended from 60 minutes to 90 minutes) is entitled ‘Photorealism through the eyes of a ‘Fox’ – The core of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes.’
Kojima is aiming to prove to the world that FOX Engine will be the most photorealistic graphics engine available in the next generation, and he recently revealed that he has a surprise announcement planned as well. Meanwhile, Joakim Mogren told Geoff Keighley that all our questions about The Phantom Pain will be answered at GDC. It’s been speculated that Kojima’s announcement is his official reveal of The Phantom Pain as a Kojima Productions game, but could he also be dropping a bombshell on us by revealing Joakim Mogren is a FOX Engine creation?
As strange as the entire story of The Phantom Pain has been thus far, this would almost be too strange of a twist. There was definitely something not quite right about Keighley’s interview, but could Mogren really be a product of Kojima’s latest graphics engine? That would certainly be a way for him to get his point across, but I’m taking these theories with a heaping pile of salt. We’ll find out on March 27 when Kojima’s presentation is streamed live for all to see.