Kojima: 2009 Will Be A Year Of Change, "We Start From Zero"
Earlier, we brought you the story regarding Kojima Productions' plans for 2009, which apparently includes two brand new projects. Then, we hear about the possibility of one of those projects being more "Western-oriented" in design, and now, Hideo Kojima clarifies that position by saying his studio is going to "start from zero" in 2009.
According to what he told Famitsu, Kojima wants to compete on a global scale from here on out, and they're "currently reviewing everything - from the team structure to tools and our staff - in order to make Kojima Productions a team that can challenge foreign creators and software houses." Although Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots sold very well and was a legitimate phenomenon in the video game industry, it still wasn't quite as successful as something like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV. We'll never doubt Kojima's ability and drive, so we don't think of this as "selling out;" we merely see the team moving in a slightly different direction in order to appeal to a wider audience. Said Kojima:
"I've come to understand that the way we've made games up until now won't translate globally, and I've come to think that I need to make Kojima Productions a team that can compete alongside the rest of the world. I've thought a lot about how Western games have been winning, looking it from a global perspective, and there are things that I've noticed. So 2009 will be a year of change, a year where we start from zero again."
This is a common refrain from Japanese developers these days, as it becomes clearer that Western studios are beginning to dominate the industry in terms of popularity and, in some cases, quality. We figure that if Kojima wants to lead the charge into more mainstream appeal, we're okay with that. He can do no wrong, as far as we're concerned.
1/5/2009 Ben Dutka