The year 2015 was bittersweet for famed video game designer Hideo Kojima. While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a major critical hit for the designer, Kojima and longtime publisher Konami parted ways in December after a number of strange and confusing actions by Konami. In March, they removed Kojima’s name from all marketing materials for Metal Gear Solid V, around the same time they temporarily disbanded his production studio Kojima Productions following a company restructuring. In April, Konami removed P.T., a demo for an upcoming Silent Hill collaboration between Kojima, filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, and The Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus, from the PlayStation Store. Soon after, Konami announced the game had been canceled. And to cap everything off, Kojima was barred by Konami from attending The Game Awards on Dec. 3 to accept an award for Metal Gear Solid V.
After those tumultuous events, Kojima took a small break from work. But now that his noncompete clause with Konami has ended, he’s become very active across various media. So what has Kojima been up to lately? And what can we expect in the future of this video game visionary?
What’s Kojima Been up to Since Leaving Konami?
Kojima’s production company, Kojima Productions, recently went independent, launching a new website and a new logo. The studio already has announced their first project, a collaboration with Sony on a PlayStation-exclusive title.
Soon after the PlayStation announcement, Kojima and PS4 architect Mark Cerny embarked on a 10-day tour of various Sony development studios, including the VASG (Visual Arts Services Group). There, Kojima was given a hands-on session with the motion capture technology used in games such as The Last of Us and The Order: 1886.
Recently, Kojima has started his own YouTube account under the Kojima Productions name, releasing his first video on Feb. 11. In the video, Kojima and his friend Kenji Yano talk about some of their favorite movies from 2015. Kojima is quite the film buff, and he’s implementing a rigorous schedule of watching a movie every day for the rest of his life. For filmgoers out there, you might want to check out some his choices.
Kojima has also met with his previous collaborators of the failed Silent Hill project, Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus. While Silent Hills has been put to rest, there’s still hope of a spiritual successor that shares everything but the name. In fact, Kojima and del Toro presented the keynote at this year’s DICE Summit, held from Feb. 16-18 in Las Vegas. The event, called “A Conversation with Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro,” featured both creators as they discussed their creative vision and the driving forces behind their artistic pursuits.
The talk ended without an announcement of a new title, but the two of them staying acquainted is a great sign for what might come in the future.
Thoughts on Kojima’s Next Game
It’s easy to speculate that about the designer’s future video game plans. His recent tour of studios has allowed him to get hands-on with the industry’s advanced technology. In an interview with IGN, Kojima mentioned that he’s focused on an “agile” studio that will focus on creating “edgy” titles. His commitment to quality and pushing the boundaries of the video game medium will continue to be major focuses of his projects. With Sony’s PlayStation VR on its way this fall, is there a chance Kojima could take a stab at a virtual reality game?
Or, from his recent meetings with Del Toro and Reedus, it’s easy to hope for the revival of a horror game project. After his meeting with Kojima, Reedus posted a picture of the new Kojima Productions logo to his Instagram account, adding further fuel to the speculation. And Kojima has expressed a strong interest in the horror genre over the last year, saying that he’s a “big baby” himself but that those strong fears would lead to a strong project. With the horror genre slowly on the decline, Kojima’s involvement could be a nice boost.
Finally, in a recent Gamespot interview, Kojima revealed a few more hints about his next project. He said that it will be “big” and “full of freedom,” which hints an open-world environment. He expressed interest in expanding the game into other media, such as anime and manga. And he mentioned that Sony will not be restricting any part of his creative and development process.
Perhaps Kojima’s biggest strength in video games is his cinematic approach, storytelling, and attention to fine detail within the game world. No matter what project he creates, we can be certain that the game will be a major force in the industry.