Kojima: getting author names in front is not in line with the marketing mentality

Last month, Hideo Kojima was named development legend at this year’s Develop Awards. In an interview with Develop Online, he talked about his career and about building his new team.

Kojima worked on the Metal Gear franchise for nearly thirty years before leaving Konami in December. One thing that kept the series interesting for all this time is the fact that it was constantly evolving.

“Even when working with the same IP, every time I made a new game I tried to bring in new elements, new ideas. Despite the Metal Gear games all being in the same series, I was always trying new things and to deliver something new. So our approach hasn’t changed that much.”

The past half year Kojima has been building his new team, and as he has said earlier, he wants to keep it somewhat small.

“The teams I originally worked with for Metal Gear Solid 1 and 2 were very small. For MGS3 we tried to implement a somewhat ‘Westernised’ line of production and we had mixed results. Maybe the Metal Gear Solid V team got a little too big. This time, I wanted to create something that felt a little more hand-crafted. In that regard, it was a conscious choice I made to go back to smaller teams.”

Several variants of logo designs.

“Some studios and companies can feel rather military. You have a big building, you go to the higher command in their big meeting rooms and they give you orders on how things are going to work. Media Molecule felt less vertical, almost horizontal. People get together to discuss things in the lunch area. They mentioned they had this family concept and that’s how they make games – that definitely had an impact on me.”

That said, Kojima does want to keep Kojima Productions ‘distinctly Japanese’.

“I don’t think the way we are building our team is necessarily Westernised. One thing that we were definitely inspired by, especially when it comes to Media Molecule, is how original and unique their team and their ideas were. That was inspiring.”


Kojima is often seen as one of the few ‘auteurs’ in gaming, at least when it comes to the kind of high budget AAA games he is known for. However, putting a creator’s name on the product is not something marketing is fond of, according to Kojima.

“In the old days, you had an Alfred Hitchcock movie, a Carpenter movie, because there was a very strong sense of authorship. You knew that director, and because of that you would go see his film. I don’t think that applies now as much as it used to. Of course you still have Spielberg, Cameron and people like that, but those guys are a league of their own.”

“Getting author names in front is not in line with the marketing mentality – it’s almost something that gets in the way. It’s the same situation for games: you don’t see many names on games because it gets in the way of marketing. If you put the Spielberg name or my name on a product, only fans of that author will watch or play it – and that’s not what marketing wants.”

“Hopefully we’ll see a time where indies make a name for themselves and find success, causing a big publisher to seek them out. In movies, new talent is scouted and chosen to make the next Star Wars or Aliens. In future, I hope we’ll have a parallel for that in games.”

However, since Kojima is a well known name in the gaming industry, with the new studio they want to let everyone know that Kojima Productions is still alive, and having his name attached is helpful when having to start from scratch.

“The situation we’re in is a little different. We’re kind of taking the approach where we want people that know us and like our games to enjoy and play them. That’s the focus.”


To read the full interview, head on over to Develop-Online.

  • Leguywhodrownedquiet
  • No Place For Hayter

    I care more about the name behind what is being made than the title being put on what is being made. Anyone can make any game in any series, but if you follow a name you get far more consistent quality.

    • Yeah, that’s probably the reason Konami started removing Hideo’s name from Metal Gear products, because they wanted to disassociate the series from his name, since they own the series but not Kojima himself.

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet

      He believes the world’s greatest parasite is not quality-based but rather advertising
      End the world not by making bad games but by stopping marketing

    • Leguywhodrownedquiet

      Oh fuck that was so corny!(my comment not yours)
      But great point mate!

  • Brandon Blake Kilgore

    Kojima. We read this because it’s you.

    Did leaving Konami do something to your brain?

  • moto hellogoto

    I hope that smaller development teams equals rich story-based games like the previous MG games.

    • Gatsu

      Aka more linear games.

      • moto hellogoto

        Yes. One of my favorite parts of the whole game was inside the quarantined area where your sick comrades were. It felt like I was back in MGS2 but with better controls. And it was spooky and dark, and that was a great change of pace from the sunny open world you’re always in.

        • Leguywhodrownedquiet

          Mission 30 says hello xD

      • No Place For Hayter

        That’s not entirely accurate, just because TPP was a snail and had a really messed development doesn’t mean it takes forever to make an open world game. A story rich game can also be sand-box, Kojima is king of making gameplay theme flow with the story anyway. I mean sure TPP was short on story but that wasn’t because it was none linear.

        And I’d think it’s more about what Kojima wants to make than anything, he wants sandbox he will make it, he wants linear he will make it. Having a smaller team doesn’t guarantee anything from the new KP.

        Come on Guts you know better than to make such assumptions >.<

        • Full Options

          That’s not accurate (xD), I think that’s the end of the production that was messed (or sabotaged) rather than the development which was pretty mature / stable for something never realized so far, and in various fields (gameplay, AI, UI design, etc..).

          And for me, the story looks more shrunk than initially short.

          TPP is still an extremely heavy and very polished “open-world” product despite how much more it could have been. Not saying it is going to be easy for new KP but quite comfortable with the idea of having Kojima at QA/testing aside the rest of course.

          Other than that, I pretty agree with your comment, specially about King Kojima and his comfortable aptitudes to master (and create, btw) any concepts (linear, sand-boxed and for sure more).

        • Leguywhodrownedquiet

          Someone give this man a fucking part of Ukraine – Vladimir Putin

  • No Place For Hayter

    I thank god that Kojima is sticking to a smaller team and sticking traditional to Japanese as much as possible. i prefer Kojima Productions that way.

  • FMercenary

    Konami: If I pull that name off the box, will you die?
    Kojima: It would be extremely painful.
    Konami: You’re a big name guy!
    Kojima: For you.

    • RJRO

      That TDKR reference.

      • Leguywhodrownedquiet

        Which one?
        The boring live action movie
        Or the badass graphic novel
        Still pretty funny

        • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

          I thought Lord Nolan’s masterpiece was great.

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            “Well that’s just like your opinion man xD”
            Did you watch Juses Crust’s godly Dunkirk trailer
            That stuff is so long that we can’t even call it a trailer xP

          • JJBYACHFullOptions2FucKonami

            I was being kinda sarcastic when I said “Lord Nolan’s masterpiece” – I thought it was the worst in the trilogy.

            I didn’t care too much of the Dunkirk trailer. I’ll forge a more fleshed out opinion when I see more.

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            I didn’t notice that xD
            That was sarcasm too from my comment
            The Dunkirk comment was barely 20 seconds that only showed the logo but they had the balls to call it a ‘trailer’

          • Leguywhodrownedquiet

            Also don’t forget there was another shit TDKR or atleast an abomination that wants to be TDKR Lmao

    • Full Options

      Konami : If I pull that name off the box, will you die?
      Kojima : Well, do whatever that makes you feel better.. But please just don’t put it on your MF slot machines, that’s all I am asking.

  • Icosikaidigon

    Off Topic: So, this is impossible to complete right? There’s only the one prisoner in this mission! It says: “Extracted 2 or more prisoners in [Where Do The Bees Sleep?]”.

    • Chapter 3 is the 2nd prisoner

  • Leguywhodrownedquiet
  • Ricardo Oe

    If it is a game, recent Hideo Kojima … sure I buy


    Hey guys,
    Do You remember when I wrote about a game called Spy Fiction? Im starting a 3rd run already! This game is Awesome! Cant stop playing! Soundtrack rules!!! Much better than in MGS2.

    There is a good reason to play it second time because real story is showed with more cutscenes so its really amazing.
    There is one funny thing I wanted to tell. In this game there is a guy without arm and he is evil dude. In one moment You can hear what one soldier says about him.
    Something like : I wonder if he has phantom pain in his arm.
    This game is a copy of Metal Gear so its kinda funny that later a Metal Gear game called Phantom Pain released.

    • No Place For Hayter

      Weirdest comment ever btw, lol. my thoughts went “Is he shilling/Trolling? What’s wrong with MGS2 music (it gets stuck in my head every time (various songs start playing in my head))…. OH HE’S COMPARING THE TWO AND SHARING!”

      I wouldn’t say either game was copying each other, they are both stealth genre and as such certain things come with the territory. And huge concepts like missing limps, PTSD, and phantom pains are closely tied to war and sabotage aka all that espionage and stealth is generally about so it isn’t surprising to see similar ideas crop up.

      Never played Spy Fiction though, so connections could be more obvious than I believe.

      • ADAMJENSEN13

        “Weirdest comment ever btw, lol”
        Hahahaha! 🙂

        Yeah! Im just comparing these two soundtracks. I played sooo many videogames so I think that one in Sons of Liberty is nothing special. MGS1 soundtrack was much much better! And like I said in previous comment that soundtrack in Spy Fiction is much cooler too.

        No, Im serious! Spy fiction is mega copy of Metal Gear! but its still great. Maybe because it is a copy of the best stealth game? and its a really good copy! 🙂

        For example: Animation of runnning hanging, the signs above head of soldiers like ?! etc, story, characters, everything is very similiar to MGS1 and Sons of liberty.

        Thanks for reply! 🙂
        If You will ever have a chance to play Spy Fiction You will love it!
        MGS is the best stealth game so as I enjoyed the Spy Fiction I think all MGS fans would enjoy that game.

        • No Place For Hayter

          I should play it, don’t have many great stealth games now in days, better go back and play the good ones i missed, lol.

          • Full Options

            Same here, everybody around saying look at stealth this, and stealth that… And also understanding, MG fans..

            To you, I am also bitter about TPP from slightly different angles. He put the satisfaction bar so high and would have fulfilled it as usual in “normal” conditions.

          • ADAMJENSEN13

            Yay! I will spread the great words about Spy Ficton around the world! 🙂

            Youre 100% right! Today we dont have great stealth games. Last was Phantom Pain. What we have now… hmm… new Hitman game? Someone played it from MGInformer? Last Hitman I played was Absolution and it was really great!
            Maybe new one is great too.
            There is also Dishonored. Never played it.
            If You will finish Spy Fiction someday share with us Your opinion. 🙂

  • Jav

    This was yesterday, the first time I can see this cutscene with snake’s face. Because the first time I was trying the skull suit. And there is no other way to see this again. Youtube or another playtrough. We really need a chance to watch cutscenes again.

  • BurntFM

    Here it is guys.

  • Biggy

    MGSV : Directed by Hideo ‘Fired’ Kojima

  • PrinceHeir


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