Hideo Kojima Talks MGS, Storytelling Innovation, Future Projects
Known as the creator of one of the most beloved franchises in the video game history, he's also a renowned perfectionist and someone who isn't afraid of a new challenge. In fact, if he doesn't get one, his head might explode.
Hideo Kojima is a master of his chosen entertainment venue, and everyone was heartbroken when he said the latest Metal Gear Solid project would be his last. ...well, maybe not "heartbroken" because Kojima has been saying that since MGS2, but nevertheless, he does want to move on to new projects outside the MGS realm. Even so, as he told Kikizo in a recent interview, he just can't seem to drop the series that made him a legend in the game development world.
"I say frankly, on a private level, that I always intend to stay true to these statements; I do always say what I actually feel at that time, after each Metal Gear, when I say I am going to move on to the next project. But it's like when Hayao Miyazaki says he is not going to do more, and then always ends up doing it. I think I am kind of in a similar situation; I have ideas other than Metal Gear, and I want to go on to make other new games, but for political, business or technology reasons, there is always a time when I have to return. But I have to say, my feeling hasn't changed; I would like to pass on the Metal Gear series to younger staff members, and then go on to produce the title, and not be so attached to it."
It's quite clear by now that Kojima has really pushed the industry forward in one particular aspect beyond the technical: storytelling. In this way, he has taken the MGS games to an entirely new level rarely - if ever - approached by any other video games, with the possible exception of certain RPGs. But he's not entirely happy with being forced to use cut-scenes to tell his story, as he did in MGS4, and Kojima may take another innovative step in this area in the future:
"Storytelling is very difficult. But adding the flavor helps to relay the storytelling, meaning in a cutscene, with a set camera and effects, you can make the users feel sorrow, or make them happy or laugh — this is an easy approach, which we have been doing. That is one point, the second point is that if I make multiple storylines and allow the users to select which story, this might really sacrifice the deep emotion the user might feel; when there's a concrete storyline, and you kind of go along that rail, you feel the destiny of the story, which at the end, makes you feel more moved. But when you make it interactive — if you want multiple stories where you go one way or another — will that make the player more moved when he or she finishes the game? These two points are really the key which I am thinking about, and if this works, I think I could probably introduce a more interactive storytelling method."
For more on Kojima and his thoughts, check out the full interview. We know we want him back for MGS5, but regardless of what he does next, the fans will be paying close attention...
8/25/2008 Ben Dutka