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Kojima Explains the Future of Kojima Productions

July 7th, 2010 by Tamashi_7

They really werent joking when Kojima said he tends to say more than he should when he talks with Famitsu Magazine. Astonishingly, Hirokazu Hamamura has been able to extract the following in their most-recent interview with the man.

(from 1UP.com)

Its always a bit of an enigma, what Hideo Kojima has up his sleeve next. We know that hed like to make something new, and that it might be a PS3 exclusive, but otherwise? Your guess is as good as mine, really we do know hes a busy man, though, what with his involvement in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Metal Gear Solid Rising, and the Nintendo 3DS game shown off at E3, to say nothing of whatever hasnt been announced yet. Luckily, Kojima gave a longform interview to Hirokazu Hamamura of Famitsu magazine in this weeks issue where he gave updates on pretty much everything hes working on. Here are the highlights:

- As Konami creative producer Shigenobu Matsuyama discussed elsewhere, Kojima isnt directly involved with development on Rising. Im serving as executive producer and leaving the game to the younger staff although they really arent that young, he said. 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.

Kojima is so hands-off with Rising, in fact, that he isnt ordering the staff to give it any of the sort of messages he usually throws into MGS titles. We developed technology for Rising that lets you slice through practically anything, so for the designers, its a question of how to serve up that technology to gamers, he commented. Its the sort of game thats popular over in the West right now. Im not preoccupied with it having the sort of messages I put into MGS games.

- How is Kojimas involvement with the Castlevania project proceeding? People from Kojima Productions have traveled to Spain several times to offer technical advice to development studio MercurySteam, he said. Were more removed from that project than with Rising. Im 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 thats how it happened.

When describing his Castlevania duties, Kojima brought up his Capcom colleague Keiji Inafune, whos similarly working with an overseas staff to produce Dead Rising 2 at the moment. Given that this is an overseas developer, I am keeping a close eye on things, he noted. I dont 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.

- How did the MGS3-inspired NAKED Sample 3DS demo at E3 come to fruition? It was a top-secret project I had a non-disclosure agreement signed with Nintendo, so I couldnt even tell you [Hamamura] about it, Kojima revealed. The demo was produced by the Peace Walker team, but outside of the group that developed it, nobody at Kojima Productions even knew about it. I got that group together and said Okay, we have to build this thing for E3 they work on a different floor from the rest of the studio, so most people thought they were on vacation after shipping off Peace Walker, I suppose.

Overall, Kojima was pleased with the response the demo received at the press event and on the show floor, but he did have some reservations. The thing is that its hard to get a lot of feedback from players, because only so many of them could physically play the title at the event, he said. 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 cant tell within the game. We couldve made it look better if we had a little more time.

- Now that E3 is over, where is the 3DS MGS project headed? I did handle direction work on the E3 demo, but where I go from here hasnt been decided yet, Kojima said. 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 were 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 havent settled on the details yet, but Id like to get CO-OPS and some of the other things we did in Peace Walker into this game as well. We cant change MGS3s story, but we are thinking about CO-OPS and other things we can use the 3D technology for.

- So whenll it come out? Nothings been decided at all yet. I dont think well be able to make it a launch title, but if we dont at least stick close to launch, well lose a lot of product value. So within a year or so of launch, then? Yeah, I think we need to get it out by then. Thats why I want to get more people to try it out. Showing a trailer really just isnt enough itd be nice if Nintendo organizes some kind of public demo event.

- Moving on to future projects, Hamamura brought up that Kojima has been pretty freely talking about his next big thing throughout the past few months. Itd appear that the director is starting to rethink his gameplan, though. The project plan is pretty much set in stone, but theres been some shaking up since, he commented. Once I got back from E3, I started changing my mind about things I cant really explain why, but I wanted to do something different from what I was originally considering. Either way, the next games going to be a console release, so dont worry about that!

Whats the issue at hand? I only have two choices for what to make: MGS5, or an original game, Kojima said. As for ZOE and the rest, Im sorry, but that kind of got pushed to the back burner. Its not that Im at a loss for what to do itll definitely be a console game, and itll be the sort of big-budget project where Im dead if we screw it up. No matter which way we go, weve got the engine all set for it; the technical side is going along smoothly.

Its a serious project for Kojima, and hell apparently take whatever time hes allowed for it. Were going slowly and carefully with my console game, but at the same time, we dont have three years to give to the project, he said. Japanese companies spend that sort of time on projects, but you dont see that with overseas studios. They just put out an Assassins Creed game, but they already announced another one at E3, right? I really dont see any way we can spend more than two years or so on this.

- So we can expect to see it by the end of 2011 at the earliest, perhaps? Once I start moving, Im pretty fast. Hmm.

- Although he spent little time talking about it otherwise, Kojima wrapped up the interview by mentioning a follow-up to Peace Walker thats in the works. The follow-up to Peace Walker is really something, he said. Its a revolution, game system-wise. Were able to do what we couldnt do with Peace Walker. Like what? Youll find out.

What can be deduced from this?

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Kojima reiterates the point (again) that he is very detached from the Rising project.
  • Kojima is not preoccupied with adding any underlying messages to Rising. In fact, Kojima says Its the sort of game thats popular over in the West right now despite originally saying that it was aimed more towards the Japanese audience. (yeah)
  • Kojimas involvement with Castlevania is even more minimal than his input on Rising. His name will just be on the cover to sell more copies, basically.
  • The Naked Sample was created by the Peace Walker team.
  • The Naked Sample IS a port of MGS3.
  • Kojima feels he cant change MGS3s story. (what about all those retcons, Kojima?)
  • Hideo wants to incorporate CO-OPS (like that from Peace Walker) into MGS3-DS.
  • The game probably wont be a launch title for the 3DS.
  • Despite having an almost solidified game plan for his much anticipated new IP, Kojima is having some second thoughts about what he wants to do next.
  • Kojima is stuck deciding whether he should be working on MGS5 or something new. Thats right, folks; I dont even have to make a pun here.
  • The above also implies that there may still be a future for MGS outside of Rising, since Rising itself has been talked of as a kind-of spin-off series.
  • ZOE is still on the back-burner. Nothing really new about that
  • Whichever game Kojima chooses to work on next, the IP will be a console game. Moreover, it will be another high-budget project like MGS4.
  • Whatever this console game turns out to be, there will be pressure to have it created in under three years to compete with the west, who are often able to dish out major titles every two years. (fun fact: MGS4 was created over a four-year period).
  • KP are already planning a follow-up to Peace Walker.

Crazy shit, is it not?

Tell us what you think in the comments!

Posted on Wednesday, July 7th, 2010 at 7:27 AM. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

23 Responses to Kojima Explains the Future of Kojima Productions

I didnt know Tamashi was so competent at making news articles, oh well.

Whatever this console game turns about to be, there will be pressure to have it created in under three years to compete with the west, who are often able to dish out major titles every two years. (fun fact: MGS4 was created over a four-year period).

I dont understand this at all, why rush your games?

Like if you release your game one or two years later it wont sell any worse.

I mean look at MGS4.

I don’t understand this at all, why rush your games?

The higher-ups at Konami are probably of the logical and common belief that more games over a shorter period of time = more money.

Pretty simple logic.

E3 had such an underwhelming line-up of Kojima games(and none in which he was involved as a director) that it is good to know that he is working on something else that is yet to be revealed. This really is the last opportunity to expect something high-quality from Kojima. Atleast for many years to come.

Well, weve kinda known for a while that he was working on a new IP that would be revealed soon. However, this news kinda clouds that hope with more horrible Metal Gear continuation.

No matter which way we go, we’ve got the engine all set for it

So if its a new game does that mean it will have the same engine play style as the MGS4?

“I only have two choices for what to make: MGS5, or an original game.”

Were beyond the sad stage now.

So if its a new game does that mean it will have the same engine play style as the MGS4?
One wouldnt think so. But then again, its Hideo so who the hell knows. Not even his own team seem to know what hes thinking.

We’re beyond the “sad” stage now.
Truth right here, folks.

lol mgs5

Ugh Hopefully were not around to see that clusterfuck.

I betcha he goes with MGS5. Just watch him.

New IP, New IP, New IP *crosses fingers*

Honestly though, the fact that hes thinking about doing another MGS is quite sad. Not only will he have to work with a fucked up storyline but there will be pressure to make it quick.

With a new IP there would at least be a blank slate and not have to worry about fucking up characters.

Watcha talkin bout MGS5 weve allready got MGS5 with Peace Walker MGS6 is the RETCON weve been waiting for since MGS3, & PW

Hellrasinbrasin on July 7th, 2010 at 8:27 PM

im all for mgs5, zoe or anything new sucks

gtfo, elektr1k.

damn black people.

Z.O.EFor me persoanlly wasnt even WOW, its like robot wars or transformers. Hope its going to be another metal gear, or some other thrilling game.

just go kill yourself snoop, just do it

lol relax mayn, sheesh, Come on, do you want robot wars or a thrilling espionage action game?

Im gonna have to go with robot wars.

i dont even really care what Kojima is going to do anymore,hes always going to do more Metal Gearsno matter how suck they are.

How about something new instead of either ZOE or MGS? *sigh* Beating a dead horse.

MGS5 puhleaze nigga. Gameplay for that would be visit Snakes grave and weep openly till you crymax.

Something new plox

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