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Kojima: Youngsters Losing Interest In "High-End Games"

Are there fewer hardcore gamers among the new generation of players? Is that the implication here?

The mobile explosion has been part of the ongoing casual trend in gaming today. More and more people are playing, but perhaps fewer are embracing the AAA cutting-edge productions. Maybe the young'uns are too busy playing smaller bite-size games on their smartphones and tablets.

This is what Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima believes, as evidenced by his statements to GamesTM:

"We've seen a phenomenon around the world. Young people are losing interest in high-end games and focusing on mobile and social titles, especially in Japan."

Kojima added that part of his vision for MGSV is to show people that "high-end games" are still viable. He also wanted to make it plain that big-budget Japanese productions aren't going anywhere. As for the upcoming MGSV, Kojima explained why the game is broken into two parts: The controversial prelude, Ground Zeroes, and the full game, The Phantom Pain:

"I'll be honest, [splitting MGSV up] wasn't necessarily a strategic move," he said. "The Phantom Pain is roughly 200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes. A game that big wouldn't be ready for next-gen launch windows, and we didn't have any Japanese titles that would be available. At that time, the Ground Zeroes portion was almost complete and a lot of fans were asking for a prologue, so thatís the decision we came to. That was the reasoning behind the move."

Do you accept that reasoning? Bear in mind that Kojima is in a difficult position, as he's attempting to prove that Japanese developers still have what it takes to compete on a global scale. As for his comments concerning younger players and their interest in high-end games...I'm afraid he's probably right.

Tags: hideo kojima, gaming industry, gaming culture, mgsv ground zeroes, metal gear solid v

3/4/2014 10:06:43 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (34 posts)

Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:29:28 PM

I blame both the me, me, me generation, & their kids selfie generation of today.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 7:36:19 AM

me me me? You know the baby boomers are considered the most entitled group ever, right? ;p

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 3:42:58 PM

Or rather the parents of the "me, me, me" generation of today.

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Friday, March 07, 2014 @ 11:13:14 AM

The main reason I disagree is because the current young generation of 20 and 30-somethings have been facing the biggest uphill battle since the great depression. Most careers now last an average of 3 years, job security is less likely, finding a job is more difficult (especially if your strategy is to send in a resume and cover letter to places... lol that will not work anymore. At least not often.), it's more expensive to own property than it ever was, and investments are less likely to yield the same sudden returns they could 30 years ago.

The baby boomers on the other hand have had more opportunity in life than any other generation (perhaps ever!). And when times get tough, they're more likely to point the finger at the government, evil corporations.... etc... Mind you, it's understandable for a baby boomer to be gloomy since they don't have the commodity of time the 20-somethings have. So if you're a baby-boomer who's fallen on rough times... that's gotta suck. Especially since for most, a modern skill-set for finding employment is often lacking. Strategies of even just 10-15 years ago for job search are obsolete, and online job postings are black holes.

But no, I disagree. The "mememe" generation you're talking about just above the 20-somethings have to prepare to support their baby-booming parents in their old age at a time there is going to be an anticipated worker shortage... (20-somethings have it tough now, but second half of careers should be gravy) so you can sure as heck bet that generation will not be able to retire at 65, or maybe not even until 75. Don't forget... there will be enormous waiting lists for babyboomers to get into long term care, which means the mememe's will be footing the bill.

Last edited by Underdog15 on 3/7/2014 11:15:16 AM

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:33:53 PM

I'm terrified that he might be right about high end games, the damn kids today have such terrible attention spans that they are liable to further screw up the industry for us grown ups. We need the game makers to just focus on us as the audience of the projects. We are less flaky.

If it's gonna be 2-3 more years for Phantom Pain then I kind of understand his explanation for this prologue, sort of like how Gran Turismo had that prologue ages before GT5.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 11:59:36 PM

Most young adults live their lives through their smartphones. And its even worse with teenagers. They carry their smartphones everywhere they go.

Kids? They imitate their parents or older siblings. They see them playing on their smartphones or tablets and they do the same.

They're growing up differently from any of us who grew up playing on a PS1 or PS2. On consoles.

Kojima is on to something. We're a dying breed.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 2:01:14 AM

"They carry their smartphones everywhere they go." That's kind of the point of a cellphone, isn't it? If you're not taking it with you you might as well stick to a house phone.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:34:41 PM

I hope to God that he's wrong. I'm not social enough to care about social games and mobile games are too simplistic and boring to hold my interest. As far as Ground Zeroes goes? He makes a certain amount of sense and Konami should have offered that as an explanation when this blew up. It certainly beats the "Hey, Journey is only two hours" one. Even at $20-30 it's overpriced but at least the reason for it's existence would have been clearer.

Last edited by Kryten1029a on 3/4/2014 10:35:00 PM

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:36:37 PM

I think that reviewers have an impact on how a game sells. That's what I think. A bad review is a low selling game. That is what it has come to. Also, the huge amount of games there are. Longer development cycle may increase sales, whereas every other title wants to have a low development cycle and as a result too many games get out on the market and all potential sales are divided between those titles, creating lower sales per game.

I believe in his decision to split MGS. I don't see why he would lie about that decision. At least MGS fans get their fix and don't have to wait until The Phantom Pain is out, so he made a good decision.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:47:35 PM

Good reviews don't mean good sales however.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 11:04:46 PM

They certainly did help Psychonauts. That thing is practically the gold standard for games that critics loved but audiences ignored.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 11:24:27 PM

*Didn't help

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:40:34 PM

yeah i think he's probably but in saying that me and my friends and brothers and some of their friends all play i guess more high end games and some indie games my brothers play alot of PC so they are on MMO's and steam alot compared to me but in saying that i used to play MMO's when i was their age. i still play the odd MMO style game one example is "path of exile" gud game play it every now and again but i do like my console games. but yes the vast majority of the gaming public in terms of what they play and what type of games they play are way different to what we play 10 years ago.

happy gaming =)

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:45:07 PM

I dunno...

Minecraft and COD are the biggest games on the market and both are almost completely dominated by children.

What do I know though, I'm not Kojima.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:48:06 PM

Those aren't high end games.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 12:17:34 AM

As much as everyone loves to hate on COD (self included), you can't fairly call it not a high-end game when you have multiple large developers working on it.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 9:52:48 AM

Maybe, but it does have an ancient engine.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014 @ 9:44:22 AM

I wouldn't call it a refined experience like mgs and even with cod, though still insanely popular, we're seeing a decline there too.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 10:59:29 PM

Explains why the sales of PS4 in Japan is still not in millions. And I think Knack is number 1 in Japan.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 11:52:56 PM

Knack was bundled with the system. That is why it "sold" the same amount as PS4's did in the span of 2 days.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 4:55:42 PM

The reasoning behind that has a lot to do with availability. People still can't get their hands on them. If they were readily available, the PS4 might have sold 8 million by now.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2014 @ 11:54:30 PM

If this is the case does it mean I might start seeing some lower cost JRPGs coming my way?

Not every game requires a huge budget and 5 years of development time. I understand it's a business but it just seems like the sales that would have been fantastic a decade ago are now looked at as average. Come on now...

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 12:14:08 AM

I completely disagree, high end games are just as popular as ever (if not more than ever), it just seems as though mobile gaming has taken over because anyone with a smartphone has a mobile gaming device and so you get people playing mobile games because they have the device anyways, but they never would have bought a device just for gaming.

The only reason people of my generation (early 20s) might be buying fewer games than people in their 30s and beyond is because we have very little extra cash to spend on games. But believe me, high end games are still very popular among us young folk and if tuition was reasonable and you didn't need a university degree for every job higher than a store clerk we'd be buying as much as everyone else.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 12:18:34 AM

Developers did this to themselves. Trying to cater to the masses they made a bunch of games that patted you on the back every time you did a menial task.

More and more gratification, topped with score comparing has made youngsters want games in short bursts.

I don't think they are losing interest I just think its easy to market and pump out money making social games on phones and facebook which cost nothing to make and yet rake in millions.

Basically this comic sums up how I feel.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 1:00:49 PM

Hahahaha awesome that said some people here can't handle DS.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 12:52:32 AM

Glad you see it mr K. So now you now what platform you should use for your next MGS (hint, hint... PSV!). Sorry mate, but I am 15 years older now and I dont have time to seat in front of TV and play like in the past. Just a casual here and there on my handheld.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 1:39:30 AM

I think there is a smaller percentage of gamers who view gaming as anything more than a hobby that an increasing number of people engage in. But in pure numbers, I think there are probably more serious gamers. Just speculation on my part, of course.

And that makes sense to me about why 'Ground Zeroes' and 'The Phantom Pain' are being separated. I'm not sure exactly what Kojima means by the latter being "200 times bigger" than the former, but I believe him when he says it's a much more significant undertaking than the prologue. Happy to have my boiling anticipation temporarily sated.

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 1:43:26 AM

Maybe true, but that assumption brings with it the idea that the flash-in-the-pan experiences of social/mobile games is what attracts them, and that I disagree with. They may offer a good diversion, but they seem to me to be a snack that you have while you're out and about, or waiting for dinner to cook. But then, I'm not as young as once I was and I don't have a phone at all anymore, so what do I know?

As for the second bit... no Japanese games for launch? Dynasty Warriors and Yakuza not Japanese enough for ya? Or is he talking specifically about Konami? If the latter, what do they even have coming out besides MGSV? A new PES surely, but what else?

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 2:11:55 AM

I think it's price. You want 60 bucks for a game to play on a console, vs 1 or 2 bucks (if not free) for a game you can play anywhere on your phone. In a time when having money is at an all time low. Then throw in talk of games reaching $80. What do you think will happen?

And let's be realisitic. A lot of that 60 goes to the high production values which are clearly not needed. Stop going for orchastras and human look a likes. That'll drive costs back down.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 3:05:38 AM

Hm... I had a thought while reading this article. Question for everyone willing to reply, did your parents buy you your first gaming device? Mine did, and I expect the majority of answers to be yes as well. When they did, they considered it a children's toy, something any normal kid would have at least once. That was one I was six.

Like I also suspect to be true of many here, I grew up with gaming. It's my main hobby and one of my biggest passions, and I don't know if that would've happened if that PS1 hadn't been my favorite "toy". I only got my first normal cellphone when I was 15, and the thing only worked for phone calls, it could never compete with my DS and PSP. Not to mention it was most certainly not thought of as a toy. My parents gave me this big talk about responsibility, and to me it was basically a leash my mom could use to keep track of me.

On the other hand, my sisters aged 15, 12, and 9 all have smartphones, and my 9 year old cousin has a tablet. The oldest one is the only one with any interest in gaming, she had a PS2 before she had a cellphone. Notice the trend? I'm not saying you can't find a love of gaming if you didn't start early in life, but I think it certainly helps.

My younger siblings have been introduced to gaming almost exclusively through their phones, and all except the oldest have never had their own console. Growing up like this, would one expect them to make the leap into the much more expensive, time consuming, and socially questioned hardcore gaming? Or will they stay in their safe, (seemingly) cheap, and perfectly acceptable world of mobile games? Where the only people that have anything against them are hardcore gamers, many of whom brilliantly play the part of elitist pricks doing their best to make them feel unwelcome.

On the other side there's the adults who never bothered with gaming before, and are now also being introduced to the idea by mobile games. For them, the jump might be even trickier since, on top of what I mentioned above, they likely have to deal with peers who don't consider gaming to be a hobby any truly mature person would take up.

As much as we palm our faces in annoyance at all the parents who seem to think gaming is still a children's toy, I don't think that represent the majority anymore. Not that they think it's any more mature, but they've separated gaming from normal toys like action figures and transformable robots. On the other hand, while cellphones were once a thing of responsibility that teens wished for until they realized their parents now had a way to call them every second of every day, they're now seen as handy gadgets for people of any age.

I think maybe it would help to have a gaming console that IS a children's toy. I love how much our industry has matured, but that doesn't mean it should focus completely on us. After all, there are children's books and children's movies. Suppose we had one, and made a clear distinction between the ones meant for kids and the console for grown gamers. I think, in that rush to show you're grown up we all get when we get close to puberty, they'd want to make that jump into hardcore gaming. After that, those who will like it will like it, and those who won't will have at least tried. Is the idea a little manipulative? Yes, but you don't get someone to read Shakespeare without giving them a couple of picture books as a kid. Pretty much all forms of art have what one might call an introductory level.

Maybe I should've put this on the forum instead...

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 3:25:46 AM

oh bullsh*t!
im so sick of this stereotypical crap!
just because flappy bird comes out and sets the news on fire does not mean that everyone that plays that type of game is a kid, and they will never look to the AAA big budget games.
i bet you 50 bucks half the people playing that crap are not kids at all, more like soccer moms!
heck i was on holidays last week and went on a 3 day bus tour, 100 people on the bus, and out of all of them only 3 people were under 40!
and EVERYONE on that bus killed the 4+ hour drives in between stops by playing on their tablets or phones.
so, can we PLEASE stop with this only kids play mobile games, kids no longer care about AAA big budget games, stereotypical bullsh*t!?

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 11:20:35 AM

This is precisely what I have been dreading all year, games like Angry Birds have stepped way over the mark and it seems like people don't appreciate full scale productions anymore - There is a place for them, but it seems that the mobile market is where the money is at. From a business stand point I can see why a developer would just make a lousy mobile game instead, less effort for equal profit. But if this is the route the industry is going down, I simply will not be a apart of it. We already see games like Angry Birds and Minecraft getting distributed and sold on disc like high-scale production games and they sell just as well...

This is going to become a huge problem for next gen, just look at how 'open' Sony are in pushing the indie market... I see it as the same as the film market, nobody cares for deep-themed short films with something to say, they just want to go on Youtube and watch a cat on roller-skates. The medium is changing and old values being crushed with the evolution and culture surrounding technology - I'm still considered old hat, as all I want to do is buy a game on release without fear of having a DLC version being released 5 months down the line. Online play, cameras, motion controllers, none of this is what I want in gaming and it just keeps taking these strides in the opposite direction to what I am comfortable with - Free2Play, indie-games, DLC... I just don't like where the industry is going, I want to say in 5 years time I am still looking forward to games and having a good time, but the business and culture of gaming is really beginning to bring it down for me.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 12:35:58 PM

Hahahaha nah Kojima, this games got big thanks to social media, they are going down, has for his NEW excuse of selling us the prologue I don't believe it all.

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Wednesday, March 05, 2014 @ 2:47:40 PM

Kojima your just pushing the blame away from yourself because of the negative feedback on ground zeroes

as far as society goes theirs always a big Fad almost everybody gets into
Cell phones COD years ago it used to be arcades

mobile gaming for the most part takes no brains or skill

as for AAA titles i don't know what Kojimas smoking or is he looking at DmCraps sales and Lightfail returns sales if that's what hes basing his theory off then hes a Numbskull cause those two games nobody asked for

Kojima will continue to shift the blame because hes not man enough to stand up to the investors that pull his strings hes just a puppet nothing more

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