IGN: The Metal Gear series is celebrating its 25th anniversary. 25 years of amazing games. How do you feel about that? What has the journey been like?
Kojima: To be honest, I never imagined it was going to be 25 years. Every time I completed a game, I told myself ‘this is it, this will be the last one’, but kept on making new Metal Gear games, and before I know, it was 25 years. What I mean is that, if you created a game thinking that ‘okay, I am going to make this for the next 25 years’, it’s not going to happen.
Now coming to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, when we look at Metal Gear Solid, it’s completely different from the franchise we are used to. Metal Gear Solid never truly had a competitor in its stealth-espionage genre, but Revengeance is a high speed hack-and-slash action adventure, which can be easily compared to other games from more experienced publishers. What was the thought process behind this?
Well, if you look at it, I suppose you could say that’s right! But basically, Revengeance is a spin-off along with the mainstream release that is Ground Zeroes. For the spin-off, we wanted to have variety, and I wanted to expand our reach to gamers who like hack-and-slash and hope to get accepted there as well. So that was our main goal as you can play with a few things in a spin-off, but Ground Zeroes will be conventional.
Right, even though it’s a game in a different genre, it still falls under the Metal Gear roof, and I am sure fans will enjoy it as much as the others in the series. Now related to that, and this is a much asked fan question, why was Raiden chosen as the ninja-cyborg guy in Revengeance instead of someone like Gray Fox?
It was actually not my idea, it was my staff in Kojima Productions that insisted on Raiden, and I respected their idea. I wanted to really focus on production than development, and they wanted to come up with a really cool hack-and-slash title with some Katana action and Raiden in it, and I thought ‘okay, that’s fine, I respect that’.
But in my personal opinion, I wanted to go for Frank Jaegar or Gray Fox. But if we had gone with that, I would have had to write the script and then be really committed to creating the game. I want to pass game development to the younger generation in my team, and have been trying to do so for quite some time. Before I never could give complete responsibilities for other games, but for Revengeance, they are fully in control. Besides, if I had created the game and directed it, it wouldn’t have been this game. I am very happy to see the growth in my team and how they have developed such an incredible game.
Shifting gears to what’s to come in the future. We have seen bits and pieces of the FOX Engine. We know about Project Ogre, we have seen the screenshots you have shared with us. I must admit, the new visual engine looks quite fantastic. What do you plan to achieve with the technologies that you are building, and how do you see it utilize the next-generation of consoles?
I can’t share much details about it yet, but the new engine is built towards not only having better visual quality, but also better functionality that will allow new kinds of gaming experiences, UI, playability, etc., and that is something we at Kojima Productions are working at, and some of which will be incorporated into Ground Zeroes. In terms of technology, FOX Engine is very efficient and that’s one of our focus as well. We are continually trying to make it as efficient as possible, and with it, we can develop games in much shorter time period than ever possible before.
Finally, have you seen the new Phantom Pain trailer?
[Laughs] Yes, yes I have. I really liked it.
So did we. Would you like to say something about it?
It was very visually appealing. The lighting was very good.
The trailer also looks familiar, especially the character, his mullet…we have seen him somewhere before…
[Kojima’s translator pitches in] Snake?
Kojima: Oh! [laughs] It might have been an inspiration…
Sure…inspiration! Anyways, thanks a lot for your time. Any words for your fans in the Middle East?
Well, we are working on Ground Zeroes which will take a little more time. But there is Revengeance releasing next month, so why not play that while you wait for the new Metal Gear Solid.