Just like we expect the changing of the seasons, we can expect that each game creator Hideo Kojima finishes a Metal Gear Solid title he'll say that's it, no more. It's been this way since MGS2! And his latest title is no exception. What's his deal? Can't he just make up his mind? He tells website Kikizo:
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.
Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima just can't quit you. After the jump, Kojima talks about his "strong urges" to create a non-MGS title as well as express his "regret" over putting all the story telling elements in the cutscenes and his ideas about how he can change storytelling in video games.
I always want to be in a creative position, where I can concentrate and grow as a creator. I feel if I don't do that, I might as well not be in the industry. But on the other hand, I am looking after and responsible for the business side of Konami as a whole, as well as for Kojima Productions, and it would be ridiculous for me on the business side to say I will just bring out a game every four years. Therefore, I would like to keep doing what I do, but at the same time, pass my own ideas to the staff who can take over and produce. That's what I have been doing, and I would like to keep doing it this way. And in my spare time I want to establish a new game, which I have been wanting to do for a long time. I do have strong urges to create a new title other than the Metal Gear series. As a businessperson, I might worry whether it will sell more than the Metal Gear series, but that's another issue!
But when I said it's a difficult question to answer, I mean that when we look ten years into the future, maybe yes, I may well end up spending more time on the Metal Gear series!
Smart money says yes. We've heard this all before, and you know what, we'll probably hear it again. More interesting is what Kojima has to say about story telling. The MGS is notorious for his heavy dependence on cutscenes. Here's his two cents:
Gameplay is always fundamental. Halo, BioShock — I see their approach and I think they are brilliant in some ways, but I still feel they still lack a kind of a deeper storyline or the expression of the feelings of the characters. I do have plans of how I should approach this and get around it. In MGS4, yes, I put everything in the cut sequences, which I kind of regret to some extent, because maybe there is a new approach which I should think about. I'm always thinking about it - making it interactive but at the same time telling the story part and the drama even more emotionally. I would like to take that approach, which I am still working on.
...Storytelling is very difficult. But adding the flavour 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.
Kojima Interview [Kikizo]