When visiting Paris last week, Kojima held several interviews with different media outlets, talking about the game’s darker mood, Japanese and western culture and how this applies to his game development.
Since MGSV: Ground Zeroes has a darker theme than before (revenge), Kojima decided to tone down the humor so it wouldn’t disturb the main narrative. However, the usual tone will return in The Phantom Pain. It’s not like you will be dying of laughter throughout the game, but there will be items that remind you that this is a Metal Gear Solid game.
Kojima also talked about the mixture of western and Japanese culture that is always evident in his work. He explains that his generation was steeped in western culture, with series and translated novels that came from abroad. What he likes about the Japanese culture is that it is one of service, which can also be felt in Japanese video games: they want to satisfy the player. When creating games, Kojima also asks himself this question: ‘What kind of service can I provide to the player so that he or she will be as satisfied as possible with my work?’
What he likes about the west is that you can create friendships more easily than in Japan, even if people have different backgrounds and Japanese are close to one another ethnologically. So for the multiplayer of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Kojima would like the LA studio to take this culture of exchange and apply it to video games. For this reason he asked all his LA teams to work from within their own culture, ‘a culture of parties, of exchange, and of communication.’
In MGSV, there is also a character of mixed race, who represents all these qualities: Kaz, who is half Japanese, half American.