Julien Merceron, who worked as Worldwide Technology Director for Konami on the FOX Engine, talked a bit about his experiences working with Kojima during a video game master class held in Paris. Website DualShockers reported on the event.
In March of this year, an argument between Kojima and Konami’s management resulted in a change of employee status for Kojima, among many other things. But despite these circumstances, Kojima kept working on the game as he did before. DualShockers writes:
According to Merceron, Kojima-san did not change his way of working. He didn’t change anything at all, and behaved like before. Merceron can’t imagine how Kojima-san was able to cope with the situation, but he was really strong. He gave his team a feeling of confidence to go on and finish the project.
After he started working for Konami, Merceron was really surprised by how much of the work Kojima actually does himself, and how much expertise he has. DualShockers reports:
Merceron didn’t really know what to expect from Hideo Kojima, as he knew him just as a friend. Since he did a lot of public relations and marketing, Merceron thought that maybe he was like a figurehead, with a lot of underlings doing everything from him, like game design and narrative design.
When they started to work together, Merceron was absolutely amazed. Kojima-san takes care of everything himself. He does marketing, Creativity on P.T “from A to Z,” the same with Metal Gear, he worked on the game design and on the story. Something not many know is that after Metal Gear Solid 4 was finished and work on Fox Engine started Kojima-san was among those who designed the technology. He’s a true technology enthusiast, and he wanted an engine that could represent him and that allowed him to deliver the experiences he aspired to create.
At first Merceron thought he would have to talk to Kojima-san in very simple terms, but that wasn’t the case at all. Kojima-san was beyond his expectations in everything: in the ideas he had, in his passion for his work, in his knowledge of technology, and even more so in his mastery of his vision. According to Merceron, he has never met anyone else who knows exactly how his game is going to look like before even seeing it.
Like several other important staff members who worked on the Metal Gear series in general, and The Phantom Pain in particular, Merceron no longer works at Konami, he is currently employed at Bandai Namco instead. As DualShockers concludes:
Merceron hoped to continue working with Kojima-san for years at Konami, also on other franchises. He hoped to revive Silent Hill and more. Without Kojima-san there might be others in his place, but it won’t be the same. He was the one who brought Merceron to the company, so he could not stay at Konami after the creator of Metal Gear Solid had left.
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Source: DualShockers (1,2)