In an interview with Sugoi Japan conducted in November of last year, Kojima talked about his new studio, his ambitions and Death Stranding.
Kojima explained that when the PlayStation came out, Europe and North America became more important markets, with the markets in Japan and Asia being small in comparison. Because of this, Kojima tries to create games that have a global appeal.
I’m currently working in Japan, but ‘DEATH STRANDING’ is for the global market. I’d prefer being a global chef over deriding myself as someone isolated in Japan.
It’s simply not my way to be a hermit and only work with the people of my own country. I try hard to venture out and meet people and companies abroad, and everyone welcomes me. If you’re scared of making mistakes simply because you are an outsider, then this is not the job for you.
There’s a massive global market waiting out there, so I want to take it head on and make them say “This is amazing! It’s great!”.
Kojima demonstrates this international focus by mentioning the partnerships and friendships with international actors and colleagues, including American actor Norman Reedus, Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen and the Dutch game designers he’s working with at Guerrilla Games in Amsterdam: “As for technology, Europeans – especially Northern Europeans – are the best people when it comes to video games.”
What is Kojima’s overall goal with his new studio? As we know, the mission statement that can be found on the website is about ‘those who play’, ‘From Sapiens to Ludens’. During Comic-Con 2016 Kojima shared a logo movie featuring the studio’s mascot Ludens.
With the KojiPro logo movie that shows Ludens walking on a barren surface in space, the intent is to show us like travelers on the Enterprise bringing “play” to new places, and building society on that foundation. I am a creator, so I am both both Ludens and Faber (maker). I want to encourage players to eventually become makers. I want to cultivate new creators whereby someone may think: “Hey, this game changed my life. Who made this? Oh, so it’s a guy called Kojima. I want to make something too.” This is the kind of connection I want to work hard to achieve.
Kojima has been working in this industry since 1986, meaning he has been creating games for 30 years. It seems like he just cannot stop making them and trying to surprise the world with his creations.
For the past 30 years I’ve created video games, and though it’s a grueling task, I just can’t stop. I thought that working alone may give me a way out, but I just can’t seem to run away from it. Even when I am cornered, there’s an urge in me to keep creating something more exciting, new and something the world has never seen before. This is probably the reason I’m still doing this at the age of 53.
I’m now 53. My limits as a game creator are only about ten years ahead, but I’m not thinking about how to prepare the next generation or anything like that. I’m only fixed on what I can accomplish in the next decade, and how I can utilize everyone I know [laughs]. But I’m sure there’ll be people who’ll still pursue me, and I’ll give them a chance because that’s the connection from Ludens (players) to Faber (makers).
You can read the entire interview (2 parts) on Sugoi Japan.