At E3 Coliseum Hideo Kojima was interviewed by the director of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid movie, Jordan Vogt-Roberts. While most of the interview was focused on the importance of cinema on Kojima’s life and its influence on his work, the Metal Gear series was also discussed. At one point Vogt-Roberts asked how Kojima deals with criticism like the complaints about cutscene length in Metal Gear Solid 2.
“Of course I pay attention and listen to this.” Kojima responded. “But the way people evaluate your things changes with the times. When MGS2 came out a lot of people were upset with me. You know, people were like: ‘why is Raiden the main character, and the cutscenes are too long. […] I don’t understand what you’re trying to convey with this’. […] There are a lot more people that understand what I tried to make back then.”
“People – and I also do this – will change their perception according to the times. So I think that sometimes, even if the perception is not good at that point, in the future (10, 20 years later) the perception might change. […] I try to keep this in mind when listening to people.”
Jordan asked if Kojima had any examples of him having an idea that no one gets at the time of explaining, only when it’s starting to take form. “Every time I think of a plan I explain what I’m thinking for the game system. The first people that I explain this to is my team. For Death Stranding, I also started by explaining a year ago to the team what I wanted to make. No one got it. Because I was trying to make something new, and something different. For me, I personally think that if people are opposed to you, then you’re on the right track.” Still, Kojima needed his team to understand what he was trying to make, so he kept explaining it day in and day out. “And while we move forward and do different experiments, little by little the team starts getting what I want to make. Right now what I wanted to achieve is already there and is working.” Kojima added, laughing: “My team, everyone is convinced: ‘we’re geniuses!’, and I was like, ‘no no, I thought of this’.”
At the end of the interview Jordan asked is Kojima had any advise to him as he moves forward with the Metal Gear Solid movie. “Do the same thing as me.” Kojima said, smiling. “Betray your audience.”