11 Jul

With continuing the Metal Gear franchise – now on two separate fronts – and producing both Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and an unannounced exclusive project on the Playstation 3, Kojima has a lot on his plate in the present. But in an interview with Famitsu (via 1UP) the auteur designer put forth his thoughts on what to expect from him years down the road.

On Metal Gear Solid: Rising, Kojima outlined his position on the development team, “I’m serving as executive producer and leaving the game to the younger staff — although they really aren’t that young…Do you remember the technical research outfit we used to have in Kobe? Matsuyama, the producer on Rising, joined the company around the time I moved to that studio in 1991. He sat in the cube next to mine, though he wound up moving to the arcade division later. Mineshi [director Mineshi Kimura], meanwhile, joined on during the second half of the original Metal Gear Solid project and worked on that for me.”

He continued, “We developed technology for Rising that lets you slice through practically anything, so for the designers, it’s a question of how to serve up that technology to gamers…It’s the sort of game that’s popular over in the West right now. I’m not preoccupied with it having the sort of messages I put into MGS games.”

On the subject of Castlevania, Kojima had a different perspective to share, comparing himself to Kenji Inafune and Dead Rising 2’s development,“We’re more removed from that project than with Rising. I’m involved with Castlevania not as a director, but as an executive manager — which I am for Konami, after all. There was a motion within the company to put Castlevania in this direction, the president gave the OK for it, and that’s how it happened…I don’t know how Inafune does it, but my basic stance is to give whatever advice I can, but leave the final decision-making up to Dave [producer Dave Cox] and MercurySteam. I want them to enjoy their work.”

In terms of more recent news, Kojima admits that tech demo for Metal Gear Solid on the 3DS wasn’t meant to resemble anything close to a final product, “The thing is that it’s hard to get a lot of feedback from players, because only so many of them could physically play the title at the event…I was hoping to shape our future direction for the game based on more of their opinions. Also, the maps and character models were all remade with a higher polygon count than before. The models are about the same quality as what we made for the PlayStation 3, but you really can’t tell within the game. We could’ve made it look better if we had a little more time.”

Kojima elaborated, “For now, what we wanted to do was advertise the fact that we are producing a 3DS game in the MGS franchise. Largely it was just a demonstration of what we’re capable of with the 3DS. For a full-size game, just having things pop out at the player all the time will get old fast, so I think the emphasis will be on visual depth instead…We haven’t settled on the details yet, but I’d like to get CO-OPS and some of the other things we did in Peace Walker into this game as well. We can’t change MGS3‘s story, but we are thinking about CO-OPS and other things we can use the 3D technology for. Yeah, I think we need to get it out by then [referring to a period after the 3DS’ first year on shelves]. That’s why I want to get more people to try it out. Showing a trailer really just isn’t enough — it’d be nice if Nintendo organizes some kind of public demo event.”

As expected, Kojima wasn’t too specific when going into details on his still unannounced project, “The project plan is pretty much set in stone, but there’s been some shaking up since…Once I got back from E3, I started changing my mind about things — I can’t really explain why, but I wanted to do something different from what I was originally considering. Either way, the next game’s going to be a console release, so don’t worry about that!…We’re going slowly and carefully with my console game, but at the same time, we don’t have three years to give to the project…Japanese companies spend that sort of time on projects, but you don’t see that with overseas studios. They just put out an Assassin’s Creed game, but they already announced another one at E3, right? I really don’t see any way we can spend more than two years or so on this.”

He was, however, pretty clear that his next game was NOT a new Zone of Enders, “I only have two choices for what to make: MGS5, or an original game…As for ZOE and the rest, I’m sorry, but that kind of got pushed to the back burner. It’s not that I’m at a loss for what to do — it’ll definitely be a console game, and it’ll be the sort of big-budget project where I’m dead if we screw it up. No matter which way we go, we’ve got the engine all set for it; the technical side is going along smoothly.”

As a matter of closing with a tease, Kojima dropped a few hints on another little game in the works, “The follow-up to Peace Walker is really something…It’s a revolution, game system-wise. We’re able to do what we couldn’t do with Peace Walker. You’ll find out.”

One thought on “Kojima Discusses the Future”

  1. Damnit i love that man! What a great interview. Sounds like he has a lot of things on his plate. I just hope Rising turns out good, i’m a bit worried that he isnt putting the same level og depth into the story.

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