Kojima Productions marks Hideo Koima’s departure from Konami. Here’s hoping the studio’s initial offerings feature less sneaking and more innovation.
After what seems like an eternity of speculation, Hideo Kojima is no longer an employee of Konami. Now that the Metal Gear creator and former Konami wunderkind has finally left his longtime employer, the rock star developer is forging ahead with Sony to begin on a new project with his team at Kojima Productions. While this is certainly great news for fans who’ve been feverishly speculating what direction he may take since his very public split from Konami, it still remains to be seen what direction he plans to take as to the type of games his budding studio will develop. One thing’s for certain, I’m in no rush to see a spiritual successor to the Metal Gear Solid series anytime soon.
After nearly 30 years of stealth insertions tinged with Cold War intrigue, I have to admit I’m a little happy to see Kojima hanging up Snake’s sneaking suit and shipping it off to Outer Haven. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed my time with the franchise — I’ve enjoyed snapping necks and crawling in myriad vents and cardboard disguises as much as the next guy — but I’d much rather see Kojima’s team change direction a bit, or perhaps return to some of the kinds of games that garnered the young developer a tremendous amount of praise before the Metal Gear series’ resurrection on the PlayStation.
If you’re a relic of the 1980’s like me and have any interest in import gaming, there’s a good chance you remember a pair of superb graphic adventures; Policenauts and Snatcher. While both of these titles released primarily on a variety of Japanese consoles and computers,with the exception of Snatcher, which released on the Sega CD in North America and currently stands as one of the system’s most prized titles, this pair of Kojima-directed titles delivered a potent mix of gritty, cyberpunk flair and fantastic writing that was utterly captivating. Frankly, I’d very much prefer to see Kojima and his new studio create a game in a similar vein with sky-high production values. Given the genre’s resurgence in recent years thanks to the popularity of tablet and mobile devices, now is as good a time as ever to see a spiritual successor to either game, if Kojima felt so inclined.
Of course, Kojima and director Guillermo del Toro’s ill-fated horror project, Silent Hills also serves to make a compelling case for the studio to push forward with the development of a survival horror title. The Kojima-produced P.T. demo offered proof positive that Hideo Kojima is a veritable mad scientist when it comes to crafting a maddeningly haunting experience that’s more than capable of playing serious mind games with players, and I’d love to see a similar project come to fruition free of Konami’s omnipresent influence. Only time will tell if del Toro and Kojima are able to reunite at some point to create a haunting new experience, as the director has stated on numerous occasions that his experience with Konami has soured him to the idea of working with the video game industry again.
Whatever path Kojima Productions takes, I sincerely hope it’s a considerable departure from the same ground we’ve seen the Mad Maestro of Metal Gear tread over the past few console generations. Hideo Kojima is absolutely a brilliant mind, and his obsessive attention to detail and over-the-top storytelling deserve to be showcased in some new and exciting ways, or really in any way that doesn’t involve slinking through the shadows as you silently dispatch armies of faceless terrorists bent on world annihilation. Here’s hoping his newfound freedom is put to good use by creating new and exciting worlds for us to explore, free of nuclear-armed walking tanks, at least for the next few console generations.
So, what kind of games do you hope to see emerge from Kojima Productions? Be sure to sound off in the comments section and let us know.