Is Hideo Kojima out of control? (pic: Twitter)
A reader is frustrated by Hideo Kojima’s announcement of Physint and worries he’s wasting the creative freedom that he currently enjoys.
The problem with someone like Hideo Kojima is that they’re undeniably talented but rather than being humble about the praise they receive, they let the people around them convince them they’re untouchable and that everything they do is amazing. You see it all the time with actors and directors and musicians and it’s only because there aren’t that many famous video game directors that you don’t see it more in gaming – although Todd Howard springs to mind as another.
One of the many problems with Todd Howard is that he keeps making the same game every time, except he seems to be getting worse, not better, ever since Skyrim. I liked Death Stranding and while I don’t think it’s some amazing classic at least it wasn’t just a Metal Gear clone, which was always a danger as many developers that leave their most famous franchise seem to end up just creating the same thing again, but not as good, and I worry that’s what Kojima is going to do next.
When he was still working at Konami, in the early 2000s, he wasn’t just making Metal Gear, he was also doing weird stuff like Zone Of The Enders, Boktai, and helping to revive Castlevania and Silent Hill. Now he’s making a Death Stranding sequel, a Metal Gear clone, and what sounds like a Silent Hill clone.
It’s long been said that Kojima needs an editor but it’s more than that. He needs someone he listens to who is willing to tell him no when he’s starting to disappear up his own rear end, and he’s been doing that a lot lately.
At The Game Awards he wasted 10 minutes or more on stage saying absolutely nothing about new game OD, even though he fine well knew footage of it had leaked out over a year earlier. It wasn’t just boring it was insulting given that all the award winners were thrown off stage after just a minute or two and many didn’t get a chance to speak at all.
Then, during the new State of Play, he did the same thing, just staring blankly at the camera while saying essentially nothing, letting everyone slowly work out that what he meant was simple: ‘I’m making a new Metal Gear in all but name.’
The games industry needs more people like Kojima – people that are willing to do something weird and unusual and are somehow able to convince companies to fund them – but at the same time you can’t afford to get high off your own supply.
All this stuff about interactive movies and blurring the lines… all of Kojima’s best stuff has been when he puts gameplay above extra long cut scenes. That doesn’t mean he shouldn’t have normal length ones but show some sort of restraint, don’t just do things because you can but because they need to be that way.
I think that’s the main worry I have about him at the moment, that he’s just getting too self-indulgent and it’s going to hurt the quality of the games and, ultimately, the opportunities he and other more inventive developers get in the future.
Kojima is a great developer, in a rare position where he gets to do what he wants, but that also means he’s got a lot of responsibility, and I don’t think his recent public experiences have been living up to that.
By reader Ponzi
The reader’s features do not necessarily represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at email@example.com or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.
To submit Inbox letters and Reader’s Features more easily, without the need to send an email, just use our Submit Stuff page here.
For more stories like this, check our Gaming page.
Sign up to all the exclusive gaming content, latest releases before they’re seen on the site.