Hideo Kojima talks new studio, Sony partnership

'It's thanks to Sony that I was able to make a global splash.'

Hideo Kojima

IGN has published an interview with Kojima Productions founder Hideo Kojima discussing the Metal Gear creator’s new studio and partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment and PlayStation.

During the interview, Kojima explains why he chose to go with Sony as a partner over other companies, the smaller scale of the new Kojima Productions, the meaning behind its new logo, and his gratitude to the fans. Kojima Productions art director Yoji Shinkawa joins him.

Get the transcribed text below. Watch the video interview at IGN.

■ On the New Studio

Hideo Kojima, founder: “For the new start, we’re just starting right now with this new studio. First we have to find an office, put together the manpower. I’m thinking of looking for offices here in Tokyo. Something not-too-big, I’m thinking smaller-scale, not too many people, and focusing on game creation at first.

“So the concept for this new studio would be creating things with good quality, and keeping the quality we’ve had so far, or even pushing it higher, while doing big things that so far we couldn’t do. We’ll have more agility, we’ll be able to do things that are more edgy, preserving the quality we’ve had so far, while at the same time finding new challenges and exploring new areas.

“When it comes to the things we want to do, of course it will be on creating new franchises and new IP. That will be the initial focus.

“As far as how big I want it to be, I don’t want it to be too big. I want to focus on the agility of the studio, how efficiently we are able to do things. For the first time, I want to focus on one game, on one thing. And after that, if we can do it, maybe we’ll start to do more things. But for the time being, we’re focusing on one thing.”

Yoji Shinkawa, art director: “I’ll be in charge of creating the concept for the characters, concepts for the backgrounds, concepts for the mechs, their designs. Once that’s done, I’ll also overlook the whole art process. In that regard, it won’t change that much. I hope I can do my best the way I’ve been doing so far.

“One thing that’s different is I want to accept more challenges and do things as I wasn’t able to do before. I want to expand, on a personal level, the things I can do. We’ve been working on a franchise that is beloved and has recognizable characters. One of my big goals is, visually, as well as whatever characters we create, go beyond that, are more recognizable, are more beloved. That’s definitely one of the goals I have when it comes to the art side.

“We’ve been working on a franchise that is beloved and has recognizable characters. One of my big goals is, visually, with whatever characters we create, to go beyond that, to be more recognizable, more beloved. That’s definitely one of the goals I have when it comes to the art side.”

■ On the New Logo

Kojima: “I’ve always loved astronauts, and [the new Kojima Productions logo] is designed so it can be seen as a medieval knight or an astronaut’s helmet. The concept is, with new technology and a pioneer spirit, we want to bring you to a new realm – within the digital world, I mean – we want to travel together with you to a new realm to which no one has gone before.

“As for the skeleton, we’re homo sapiens – people of wisdom – but we’re also homo ludens – people who play – and the concept behind this logo is that: With new technology and a pioneer spirit, we’ll deliver play to a new world.”

■ On the Sony Partnership

Kojima: “With Sony PlayStation, they make their content globally. It’s thanks to Sony that I was able to make a splash in the global market. It’s been 10-plus years since then and the working relationship at Sony, the people at Sony, we gel well. People at Sony have been friendly with me, I work well with them. I got several offers from many different companies, but with Sony it came to a point where I know these people, we know each other well. I feel like this is an environment where I will be able to make something and be comfortable. And I believe that is the environment I need right now.

“We know each other, we understand each other, and based on this relationship, I think it’s a good point to create a new IP. That’s the reason I chose to work with Sony on this project.

“I want to create something that’s what people expect, but at the same time will have something new that people haven’t seen before. It will be a complete game.”

■ On the Game Engine

Kojima: “We could go either way. Whether it’s using an existing engine or making another engine. We’ll have to do some research before making a decision on that one.”

■ On the Japanese Market

Kojima: “I make games in Japan for a global market. As long as there’s a market out there in the world for making games, I’m not too focused on what’s happening in the domestic market in Japan.

“However, because I make games for all the world, I want to make games that go to a global market. If there are very fun games are out there, I believe they will eventually find their way to Japan. People in Japan will start consuming them.”

■ On Working with Guillermo del Toro

Kojima: “Mr. Del Toro is a talented person and a very good friend of mine. Every now and then we talk about working together in the future, but I cannot make that guarantee here. But I definitely want to work with him in the future. I have no idea what I’ll be working on with him, if it’ll be a game, a movie, anime, but someday I definitely want to create something with him.”

■ On Looking Ahead

Shinkawa: “I’m getting the opportunity to create a new game again with Mr. Kojima. I’m really excited for this. One thing that happened through this period, the voice of the fans, the people who expected a lot, they gave me courage. They made me feel really well. I felt really gratified having worked so hard in creating games and doing the art I create. I want to correspond to the fans, to get back to them, and I think working again with Mr. Kojima is a great way to do this.”

Kojima: “I’ve been in this industry for 30 years. I turned 52 this year. I’m getting to a new start, and I am very confident. I’ll keep creating games until the day I die. Rest assured I’m making more games, something more fun, something you haven’t seen, and it would be great if I could count on the fans to support me in this.”

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