Halo Designer Calls Out Kojima’s ‘Sexy’ Comments

Halo designer David Ellis thinks the Hideo Kojima-approved "sexy" design for the Metal Gear Sold 5 Quiet is "ridiculous," and says that the industry is full of what he calls "man babies." Earlier in the week Kojima said that he had directed designer Yoji Shinkawa to make the sniper character Quiet more "erotic" so that more people would cosplay her during the Tokyo Game Show later this month. Today during a press conference Q&A, Kojima told Polygon that he meant to say "sexy."

Ellis, who works at 343 Industries, made his comments in two separate tweets, said that he didn't care if he got in trouble for making them.

Speaking to GameSpot about his tweets later, Ellis told the publication that these things are not part of the eccentricity of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, but simply a cute cover for something else:

"Eccentricity is a cute cover word for objectification and sexism," he said.

He added that sexuality can be used for a purpose in games like in Platinum Games' action title Bayonetta, but in this particular case he considers the emphasis on it is "lazy and exploitative."

"I like breasts as much as the next guy but this felt icky," Ellis said.

You can read Ellis's original tweets below:

Source: GameSpot

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  1. Andrew Eisen says:

    Repair Her Armor is a Tumblr where folks take a second pass at some of the sillier female armors and outfits in order to make them more practical.  Here's Quiet:

    Yep, that's better.  Don't know if she really needs the vest being a sniper and all but either way, MGS 5 is going to have to go a long way to convince me that Quiet works in her underthings.


    Andrew Eisen

  2. Monte says:

    I know what point you're trying to make, both in a sense could be called being exploitative, but i don't feel like i can lump the two together. Quiet's outfit just comes off as being trashy and tasteless and meant to arouse; Cortanna however, while she is technically nude, I find that it comes off as rather an artistic kind of nudity. I mean if i saw someone looking like cortanna in real life I would think that she was some kind of living art piece for an art show; the product of a hours of body painting. Its like the difference between seeing a woman in a strip club and a nude model in an art class. I might even say the contrast between the two actually does show the difference between being "erotic" and "attractive"

  3. IanC says:

    What the hell happened to Cortana?

    I dont recall her having hips like that in the earlier Halo games. Urgh.

  4. Sleaker says:

    You have a good point. And perhaps it wasn't his decision to make the Halo character that way?  Just because it shows up in the game doesn't mean he was all giddy about it, or liked it? But yah, it's kind of interesting that they did this in their game too.

  5. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Because down voting is cool.


    Now if they had a brain in their head and looked at my gallery they would see someone in metal bikini armor. Tho its a fantasy setting and she nearly is covered up by a large shroud which can turn her invisible. Its not the final concept mind you but but its close enough.

  6. Bill says:

    Bullshit, that's exactly what plenty of people are saying.  The mocking is meant to end the practice in the industry of having sexy women in games because no matter how it's done, it's "objectifying" and "sexist". 

    There are plenty of games where women are not shown as sex symbols, I don't complain and demand that people like you shouldn't have practical realistically portrayed female characters.  But people like you do.  You guys gripe so that if you get your way people who like fantasy sexy women in games can't have them.  You don't vote with your dollars, you demand that they conform instead of letting them produce a product for people with different tastes than you.

    Yeah I know plenty of people who like something then gripe at others who also like the same thing.  They are called hypocrites.


  7. IanC says:

    Don't forget the fact you can go on a date with a 15 year old girl and then get to see her in her undies in Peace Walker (which is my fave MGS game actually…)

  8. MechaTama31 says:

    Well, as far as MGS goes…

    MGS1: Meryl running around in her underwear.



    MGS2: Olga Gurlukovich wet t-shirt contest



    MGS3: Eva.  'Nuff said.



    MGS4: Naomi, the whole B&B squad, pretty much every woman except Meryl and Eva (they already had their turns, I guess).





    So I guess what I'm saying is, this actually fits in perfectly with the MGS universe.

  9. DorthLous says:

    Well, to be fair, I'd ask if it's the norm or the exception. What I mean is that MGS was never serious, always had eccentric characters and I actually have a friend who beats me in just how little clothes she'll feel comfortable in public with. To be fair, she's the exception, but then again, if a game has one such character, then I wouldn't worry about it. It's when it's normalized without reason, i.e.: DOA beach volleyball, that I think we should speak up.

  10. ikillchicken says:

    Perhaps. But of course, you realize that calling him a hypocrite is just a big old meaningless sidetrack right? I mean maybe he is. Maybe he does the exact same thing. But none of this actually invalidates the criticism itself. It just means BOTH are bad.

  11. Bennett Beeny says:

    "Replace "women" with "black people" and see how silly your post is."

    Erm… the post remains non-silly.

    His point is that sexism can apply to both sexes and it can be masked by a patronizing attitude.

  12. jedidethfreak says:

    …which actually points to a hatred of women.

    Replace "women" with "black people" and see how silly your post is.

  13. Neeneko says:

    No, throwing around sexism is not meant to imply dislike or hatred of women, not by a long shot.  It generally refers to treating or seeing people differently based on sex.   You can like women an still not see them as equals or even really as people.

  14. Rawle Nyanzi Lucas says:

    Throwing around words like "sexism" is meant to imply dislike of women. That being said, you won't see me shouting "Censorship! 1A violation!" over this.

    And yes, I will concede that Metal Gear Solid never really sold itself as a "fanservicey" series in the manner of Dead or Alive or Bayonetta, and it is a cheap gimmick (Kojima seems to have admitted that was part of the reasoning, mentioning figurine sales.) It's not as if every video game, or even most video games, are female fanservice, though.

    But then there's Cortana. The Pot v. Kettle decision protects Ellis's right to accuse Kojima, though. 🙂

  15. Bennett Beeny says:

    Misogyny in the game industry is ubiquitous, so I'm wondering why this particular example is drawing so much attention. Anyway, here's my take on this character:

    Whereas the lack of clothing could (I suppose) be due to the action taking place in a hot and humid jungle, the stockings, the complete lack of any armor at all and the oversized breasts are fricken ridiculous. Is 'Quiet' supposed to be some kind of prostitute? Because that's the only reason I can see for her dressing up as if she's skeet shooting during a punk-themed beach volleyball competition.

  16. jedidethfreak says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing.  NOBODY with any relation to the HALO series has any right to say anything about anyone else being sexist.

  17. GrimCW says:

    So the guy from 343. with those oddball weird armors (that added TONS of curves to the female models over bungies near androngenous designs) and the realistic droop cortana is slandering Kojima over a costume design?

    I gotta go get these laughs out, cause thats just sad…. No moral high ground to stand on, yet there he is….

  18. MechaTama31 says:

    Sexism, objectification, whatever…  I just think it's a kind of stupid-looking character design.  Shinkawa has certainly done better.

  19. Neeneko says:


    No one is saying sexy women are bad, or that liking sexy women is bad, nobody is mocking hetrosexualty.

    They are mocking designers who do not seem to be able to see female charaters beyond oversexed objects or design outfits based off what they hope nubile young models will wear to 'cons.

    I know plenty of people, strait or bi males, bi and lesbian females, trans peeps, who love sexy women and outfits but still find this person's attitude annoying and disrespectful.

  20. Bill says:

    I grew up with four older sisters.  My oldest sister (13 years older) is a lesbian in a 30 year relationship with her partner and she loves sexy near naked women.  I love sexy women too but since I'm a hetero male, I and like minded men are called man babies.  I'm going to look to my sister as a model and I'm just going to embrace my sexuality, the world be damned.  I'm not going to apologize for my sexuality and frankly I'm getting tired of having my sexuality mocked, ridiculed and looked down upon by the PC crowd.  I love sexy naked women and I'm proud of it.  I'm ready.  Call me sexist, a misogynist, a pig?  Oink Oink baby!!!  Bring on the babes!!!




  21. Rawle Nyanzi Lucas says:

    So, a game designer makes a sexy character, and then some blowhard accuses that designer of hating women. Pretty big assumption he's making.


    It's as if this Ellis fellow has a problem with men getting aroused by pictures of attractive women. What now, pixelated vixens are corrupting society's morals? I'm sorry Mr. Ellis, but there can only be one Jack Thompson.


    (Picture of scantily clad woman)

    1950s reaction: "Tear it down! It's an offense to God!"

    2010s reaction: "Tear it down! It's objectification and sexism!"

    The more things change, the more things stay the same.

  22. Neeneko says:

    Yeah, we can.  Just because an attitude is more common in one culture then another does not make that culture immune from criticism, esp when that same criticism is pretty strong IN that culture too.

    While not universal, many of the Japanese women I have known in the US came here in no small part to get away from sexism in Japan.. and I am not talking about the 'oh no porn is bad!' crowd.

  23. quiknkold says:

    I dont mind it as an alternate costume or unlockable costume. but as the main appearance? eh.

    But you guys need to realize that these games are created in completely different hemispheres. Halo is made in the Americas, where lately showing skin seems to become a bit of a taboo in popular culture(I honestly dont mind a bit of cheesecake or beefcake depending on the circumstances).

    Metal Gear is made in Japan, where they are Bombarded with images of Sex on a daily basis. You cant blame Hideo for expressing his cultural view of women. Then you come off as Xenophobic and Controlling. I'd say Ellis is more at fault then Hideo is for turning Cortana into movie Mystique. 

  24. Sleaker says:

    Totally agree of the sentiment. As soon as I saw the picture I was like, "ugh." As a gamer, I've had enough of that kind of over-objectification from game developers.


    I almost responded similarly on the initial article posted here on GP.

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