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Hideo Kojima and Microsoft have signed a letter of intent that states the two parties intend to work out the details on a publishing agreement for a new Xbox game, according to sources familiar with the matter. This is a key step in the negotiations between the Metal Gear Solid creator and the Xbox company. This signifies that both parties have agreed to a generalized deal while lawyers continue hashing out the finer points.

Microsoft and Kojima’s teams have spent months discussing a possible partnership, and now it is more likely than ever that those conversations will bear fruit. The deal is so close that Microsoft has begun preparing for what Kojima will need to make his new game.

Last week, Microsoft announced that it had hired Portal and Left 4 Dead developer Kim Swift to oversee partnerships for cloud-based games. Swift most recently worked at Google’s cloud gaming service, Stadia. Microsoft hired her with the purpose of assisting in making Kojima’s cloud game a reality.

As for what Kojima’s game actually is, few people know. The point of the partnership is to unlock the creativity of Kojima Productions using Microsoft’s technology as opposed to greenlighting a specific pitch.

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And then what about other publishers, like Sony? Well, it is very unlikely that Microsoft’s deal would prohibit Kojima from working with other companies. For now, Kojima Productions continues to work with Sony on Death Stranding: Director’s Cut for PlayStation 5.

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