Kojima’s new studio to have no more than 100 staff members

In an interview with GameReactor, Kojima said he wants his new studio to have a staff of 100 people at maximum. “I’m aiming to keep the staff less than 100 people. I am searching for technology and at the same time hiring new people, and visiting the studio to get inspiration about what kind of studio I want to make/create.”

Kojima has stated before that he wants to keep his team relatively small. While working on the Metal Gear Solid series, he has lead teams of over 200 people. The translator explained: “He wants to connect to the developers directly… So it will be around 100 people, but not more. Keep it that size.”

Kojima-at-Nordic-Game-6

Update: GameReactor published another part of the interview, in which Kojima praises Sony’s studio Media Molecule, which he visited earlier this year. “We aim to make a kind of small, intimate type of studio, and I felt like Media Molecule in London is quite similar to what I’m trying to make.”

"With people in Media Molecule. had collaborated w/ LBP but was my 1st time visiting. Very unique & awesome studio!"
“With people in Media Molecule. had collaborated w/ LBP but was my 1st time visiting. Very unique & awesome studio!”

GameReactor will publish a full interview tomorrow.

Source: GameReactor, 2

  • Leguywhodrownedquiet

    We don’t know the game’s scale so let’s be skeptical
    Also I think that the responsibility of directing a huge game studio probably affected him

    • 100 is a great team size that can create any genre with the best tools possible.

      I want to remind Everyone that Metal Gear Solid 2 was made with 70 people and that game was in My opinion not just a masterpiece but a Next Generation Game.

      200 people is great if you have multiple directors and writers, but Kojima likes to do that stuff alone. Besides, Kojima’s plan to make westernized team again where one developer can do multiple tasks.

      That’s great. I’m excited.

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        Mgs2 had such a badass theme

        • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

          True dat…

      • Exactly, if he has a team of 100 people that should be enough to make great games, while still being able to oversee everything.

      • Full Options

        Yes, for example big teams such R* have at some point more CG artist than devs, to shape all the environments, characters, address open world demand.
        Another thing is that depending the chosen assets generation mechanism (could be either offline or at run-time), the number of artists could also be reduced. If he try to investigate on more modern procedural / techniques, he may find some way to create great landscapes / levels very fast but there are few catches. The more you let the machine do things for you, the more you need QA to check everywhere for possible glitches.
        Well hand-crafted levels present the advantage that at least a human eye inspected thoroughly the level, but induce more artist / level designer time.
        In all cases, all this sounds so promising ! I was afraid to get something much smaller ! 😀

      • Kol Leqejza

        70 people?! so why were the credits so damn long then?

        • Full Options

          😀 His was mentioning Konami’s staff only. Besides, people are often working in various fields and show up several times in the credits.

      • Kol Leqejza

        Kojima is also adamant that his company will never grow to the size of a Konami. “Even at the time of the first Metal Gear Solid we had more than 200 people,” he says.

        this is a quote from kojima on eurogamer.net. so ur obviously lying, dude. u even said, that MGS 1 had 15 staff members.

    • Full Options

      He was rather straight to the point regarding the scale at NordicGame. I won’t hype too much but if he is stating that it is going to be a big game, chances are high to get at least something as huge as all his previous MGS’s.

  • That is great. I’m satisfied with that size.
    I thought he was interested in 15 or 25 devs. 100 is GREAT.

    but I hope that he will eventually make it 150 later. Not more than that.
    Now, I’m really excited. It’s a shame though that he has no internal tools this time around.

    • He means 100 max so it could be lower. But yeah, good news indeed!

  • Full Options

    Mmm… Fresh meat ! Thanks for posting this. It is way bigger than I feared after all ! 😀
    It is also not including possible external studios !

    However, he promised he’ll do something BIG… He always did something big, even without promising.

  • Tong Ninja

    Hmm … that is more than I expected. 😀
    I’m going to guess that he currently has around 30 – 40 people already in his studio. You need to fulton more people to your base Kojima!!! XD

    “He wants to connect to the developers directly… “.
    Good to hear his reasoning for a smaller team. Communication skills is very important in any job you do whether it is a developing a game or doing a project. You’ll be surprised at how things can go wrong in production/development stage because you didn’t communicate properly with your co-workers. 😛
    Also having a smaller team (compared to 200 – 300 people) will reduce development costs significantly.

    • Lamp123

      Agreed.

      Rika Muranaka the music composer for MGS1-MGS4 had communication problems with Kojima ( from an interview last year)

      In an interview, she said for MGS1-2 she was able to talk directly to kojima and discuss on how he wanted the music to be conveyed. When the team got bigger, she said it was difficult to see Kojima to talk about the music. She would have to talk to several people and then they would send a message to Kojima or his assistant. The message came back with a response and then she made the music. When she gave it to kojima, it was not what he wanted at all lol. So the message was pretty much lost in translation through all those people.

      I think he wants a team like he did from the earlier MGS games.

    • Full Options

      Lol… “fulton”… And S++ ones first, please Sensei ! MISSION 22 “Retake the platform” ! 😀

  • Mini gear

    I’m glad Kojima wants a tighter team, makes the devil penny better that way 🙂

  • Venom_Sina

    That’s good.Not so small,but not so big either.With near 100 people,we can expect to see his game(s) sooner than we thought before (hopefully).
    Also it’s really good that Kojima wants to keep the connection with his team members.Developers can go to Kojima directly and discuss about something.

  • Updated the post with an additional quote. Kojima wants to make a studio similar to Media Molecule (he praised them before). They have a team of about 60 people, judging from their website, so that’s probably the kind of number Kojima is looking for, more or less.

    • Full Options

      So 60 at worst ! Still very good news.

      Geez this waiting is yet killing me. So 2019 – 2020 at best ?
      Could be a poll :D, like “when do you think Koji-Pro will release their next game ? 2019 ? 2020 ? 2021 ?”

      • You don’t think 2018 is a possibility?

        • Full Options

          From the least I know from Kojima, ehm, maybe, but very late 2018, then.
          Either he is playing with us and already have few solid drafts and even rough prototypes separated parts (if yes, his behavior does not yet sound like it to me), either we are good for at least 2 years straight.
          Taking into account production usual noises / delay, yeah it is hard for me to imagine he’ll stuff all that fast.. But who knows, all depends on so many evolving factors…

          • Yep 2018 is probably a bit optimistic, and it would be at the end if that’s the case. But 2019 is probably more likely, depending on how big this project really is.

          • Full Options

            Yeah, when he said he wanted to do a big game, 99.9% of my body was floating in the air whereas the 0.1% left was crying like a baby about the time it is going to take… xD
            I mean when Hideo himself said it will be big =O… I felt like…
            That… That sound big !? Ho..How big, please ? 😀

        • 2018 or 2019 Q1 at best, if things will go bad.
          Kojima said he wants the game to release faster.

          just 60 people ain’t going to cut it honestly. As I said, in SD Era of Playstation 2, MGS2 was made by 70 people while MGS1 was made by 15+ people.
          But there was a reason in 70 people. Game used so many future proof technologies, physics, destruction, complex AI this time around that could do so much more than enemy AI in MGS1.

          Media Molecule is a great studio, but they develop games like Dreams for years, not to mention that the scope of the game maybe is very innovative, it does not feature complex AI systems or Realism when it comes to video games.

          Kojima is known for Realistic looking games, some complex game mechanics and systems. Not sure that 60 is enough. time will tell of course, but

          previously Kojima Productions got bigger each new title for a reason. MGS4 development with 200 people was a result of PS3’s sad architecture and HD era. PS4 is so much easy to develop for, but I have not seen a single studio with 50+ people that can create a big AAA title.

          • Full Options

            He loves to surprise us and even if he lost his techno (b.stards..), I think the most important is that while developing it, he already answered a lot of painful R&D questions he needed to make sure a gaming experience is spot on what the audience need and also most of all, Koji-Style.

            I mean, after developing all those MGS’s and the FoxEngine, he can faster than ever sort what he need, avoid well known labyrinths.. The principal is always in his head. For instance his mascot is yet another proof that he is always completely in sync with his fan-base.

            Every single MG out convinced him he was on the right track all his life and that’s why V’s gameplay was so awesome.

            Their new developers will have yet many solid references of Hideo’s quality expectations in all fields. They’ll all be top-fans as well, they somehow already know what “kind” of stuff he wants.

          • I mean, after developing all those MGS’s and the FoxEngine, he can faster than ever sort what he need, avoid better known labyrinths..

            Not sure about that. Each game he makes, there is a new challenge always. Every game he developed (even Peace Walker on the PSP with transfarring tech and the fact that it is still the best looking PSP game to date) had some new technology in it. New technology – New challenge.
            and Kojima does not like gimmicks at all.

            I dunno, I hope it’s more than 100 personnel, I also hope that it won’t take a lot of time for the devs to master the engine, otherwise it’s 2020 at best with Kojima’s perfectionism.

          • Full Options

            “Not sure about that. Each game he makes, there is a new challenge always. Every game he developed (even Peace Walker…”

            Sooo true. Even if there are a lot more possibilities through for example tremendously more powerful hardware, he loves playing Indiana Jones all the time.

            “..on the PSP with transferring tech and the fact that it is still the best looking PSP game to date…”

            Yeah, maybe this so perfect port of GTA’s game engine (which must have been a true pain in the .ss to stabilize with only 32 Mb RAM) could compete.. , but PW is the PSP-thing. I played it only HD-PS3 (asking the high council to forgive me again, was way too busy..), but even though, I was so admirative about this so great atmosphere with a that low polys budget… Only him can achieve that. As he said, not much thanks to very detailed assets, but just on the capacity to immerse the player that deep.

            “New technology – New challenge.
            and Kojima does not like gimmicks at all.”

            I hope he’ll tap in Koji-VR or any other new stuff asap even if not for the first title.

            “I dunno, I hope it’s more than 100 personnel, I also hope that it won’t take a lot of time for the devs to master the engine, otherwise it’s 2020 at best with Kojima’s perfectionism.”

            It depends, too blurry the future is. 😀 You can do many things fast with “only” 60 persons. For example, specially if some would sell their mothers to work with him (mom do not read that). Koji-Pro is part of the history of Konami, a lot of people are really talented there. Some may not have unfortunately shared Hideo’s vision, but maybe a team of 60-100 confident persons can beat a much bigger one. That would be a fitting genuine Koji-Challenge, right ? Future will tell.

            Edit : How do you cite / quote like that ? I rike it, I am too lazy to google it too much ! I tried the “cite” tag but it works like nuts… 😀

          • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

            As long as Kojima starts to drop some of his unorthodox directorial techniques he may be able to make such an ambitious game, cheaply with a small team. Here’s an interesting interview with Ryan Paton (producer of MGS4), he talks about Kojima and his directorial style in great depth – I think most interestingly was his comments on Kojima’s weird over-dependace on trailers:

            https://youtu.be/aPWohis0xHY?t=1881

            Basically the team develop certain their respective parts of the trailer, releases it and then Kojima asks KojiPro to build the game around that – with each trailer becoming more and more representative of Kojima’s vision. With MGSV this philosophy bit him in the ass when Konami started being Konami.

            Hopefully Kojima has learned through a trial of fire that this isn’t the most time/cost effective way of developing games.

          • I laughed so hard watching this, yeah. MGS4 was pain when it comes to development, but nothing bad about it really. Sure, it’s expensive but it was worth it in the end.
            MGSV development phylosophy from MGS4 was super different. They ditched the way they developed MGS, otherwise they would never make even a single Open world Map in MGSV that way.

            Ryan Paton… damn, I want hear the story behind MGS4 development.

          • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

            Based on the trailers and the final product it seems that MGSV was built around the concepts presented in the trailers: I think the sins of the father & nuclear trailer is the best example of this.

            Didn’t Kojima (or some one at Konami – I think it was Ken) say that he specifically manufactured content for the trailers[Nuclear trailer]? Which lines up with what Paton said about the team designing content specifically for the trailers then seeing how to repurpose them in-game later.

            Despite designing the open world to near perfection there are some elements that are “uneven” in quality especially compared to how they were presented in trailers – they may have abandoned this trailer centric vision in regards to gameplay, but in terms of story? Nah.

          • It was not like that. They developed the engine. The engine already had some concepts for the open world game design.
            http://gamingbolt.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/fox_engine-1.jpg

            After that, they started building a huge demo that was Ground Zeroes and after Ground Zeroes they knew what to do and started development on MGSV with full force.

            MGSV development was at the level of top tier Western studios basically.

          • Full Options

            I would really like to know if GZ was indeed initially planned as a demo, or if some at Konami wanted to make sure Kojima Productions was the only real AAA team left in their walls..

          • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

            I mean in regards to the games narrative/themes – it seems like it was made around the trailers. Like as Ken said they make things for the trailer and then put then see how it can be put in the final game.

            Their open world was masterfully built – I 100% agree there. Like as Ken said they make things for the trailer and then put then see how it can be put in the final game (maybe even cut it entirely) -in terms of story. Things like open world’s and game mechanics cannot be invented as they go along, but story can.

  • I hope Kojima understand what he is doing. I want to remind you all something. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tango_Gameworks
    Tango Gameworks has 60+ developers. They created The Evil Within. IMO, it was not that great and Shinji Mikami was attached to the game. It was supposed to be a Resident Evil alternative from a great dev but the end result was not that great. Even with huge publisher such as Bethesda.

    I also want to note that they used ID Tech 5 (Bethesda gave them ofc) which was not a hard engine to develop for.

    I just hope that everything will be fine. After LUDENS logo I’m excited as hell but at the same time it’s just a render. A great looking one from Yoji Shinkawa.

    • Full Options

      “I hope Kojima understand what he is doing.”
      Karmack left Bethesda to keep his integrity, hopefully they’ll work together (if they do that… I just bleed of joy from everywhere) . John slammed the door for VR ! He is for sure busy, I never heard what Sensei thought about Karmack brothers..

    • BurntFM

      I can see how people would be disappointed with Evil Within or straight up not like it. But for me, that game was great. It even had a little homage to Resident Evil.I enjoyed it and didn’t find a dull moment in the game the only thing that drove me nuts was the extreme letterbox of that weird aspect ratio. lol

      http://i.imgur.com/wFc7cpG.png

    • Venom_Sina

      I talked about my worries a few months ago,with you.It was one of them.Remember? 😀
      Yeah.There are things that worries me.A third party engine is the first one.For V they had Fox,which was their own work,so they knew ins and outs of the engine.But this time it’s different.They need to work with the engine more to be able to use all the capabilities.I’m scared of Kojima’s work turn into a game like The Evil Within.Fantastic,but a lot of technical issues.

      • Full Options

        No worries, he won’t let that happen. Remember he tests extensively is games. Everybody is expecting a specific result, but stay sure that him first.
        This is where good Japanese game quality enters the dance.
        He is the best senior designer, remember ? He is going to hire people really strong with the third party solution he’ll choose.

        At AAA levels, they can all setup any features, even if they have to be sloppy hacks at worst.
        They just need someone to tell them what he needs. Hideo is this guy and they’ll do just anything he wants.
        The only question remaining is if they’ll be lucky enough to not much struggle here and there.
        If so, the title will just get extra delay like for any studio.
        All we need is that he takes all his time to setup everything.

    • SomaHeir

      Ehh i love The Evil Within. I love the combination of Stealth and Horror. Though there are some parts where it went all action in the later chapters.

      But the mansion, the atmosphere, even the VA is just superb. I wish the whole game was designed like the DLC chatpers. Less weapons and more on stealth and horror.

      Still i can’t wait for Shinji Mikami’s next game. I do agree they should opt with a new engine or maybe that new Doom engine.

  • CR7HarisSnake

    VR mission 35: Extract fulton the prisoner Yoji Shinkawa from the Konami HQ. You have 24h time. Spread your wings and may god be with you.

    • Venom_Sina

      He did that mission in the 15th day of December 2015.Actually it was VR Mission 1,lol.

  • Venom_Sina

    I came today and I saw that nuke counter on the right.Nyxus,bedankt for that.Now we can keep track of nukes easier.

  • Boss!

    • Full Options

      Yeah !! Sensei is watching you !!
      ;DD

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