Before getting in touch with PlatinumGames, Hideo Kojima was originally considering approaching a western studio to help get the Metal Gear Solid: Rising project back on track after the game’s development team at Kojima Productions failed to yield any results. However, since Rising was meant to be a ninja action game with swords, Kojima ultimately felt that a Japanese studio would be best suited to the task.
Once he reached this conclusion, Kojima felt PlatinumGames were the only viable choice. He met with Tatsuya Minami, president of PlatinumGames in early 2011, and told him that he needed his help with something. Minami initially thought he was joking, but then Kojima went on to tell him what had been going on with Rising for the last couple of years.
Once Metal Gear Solid 4 had been wrapped up, Kojima had begun several drafting plans for another Metal Gear game in 2008. One of these was a game featuring The Boss and the Cobra Unit during the invasion of Normandy. Kojima intended to hand these plans off to a team to develop a new Metal Gear Solid without him, while he worked on other projects like Peace Walker and the Fox Engine instead. However, the team felt uncomfortable developing a full-scale Metal Gear title without Kojima’s involvement.
As a solution, someone suggested the idea for Metal Gear Solid: Rising. Since it would be a side-story instead of a numbered game, the team felt more comfortable working on it. It would star Raiden and be set between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4. Kojima accepted the proposal and development on Rising began.
Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan. Progress was slow, and the development team was having a hard time synchronizing the story and playable aspects of the game. In 2010, Kojima talked with Yuji Korekado, the game’s project manager, and told him he felt there wasn’t a strong enough director to lead the project. Korekado, who was also the lead programmer, couldn’t disagree. Eventually, Kojima went to PlatinumGames to ask for help, although he thought they would turn him down.
PlatinumGames did just the opposite. Within a work, they drafted a plan for improvements to Rising. Once the deal was struck, Kojima Productions handed their work off to PlatinumGames, who returned with an immensely improved alpha version with several of their own suggested features implemented in it. Impressed by their work, Kojima handed control of the action elements over to PlatinumGames to create a game of their own style, while Kojima’s own staff tried to ensure that the story remained true to the Metal Gear series.
Kojima gives an example of how PlatinumGames’ style differs from his studio’s. The trailer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (the new, rebooted version of the game) shows a Metal Gear Ray with blades for arms. The Ray attacks Raiden, who blocks its blades with his sword and then throws it into the air. This kind of crazy scene is something you wouldn’t see from Kojima Productions, Kojima says.
You can watch a behind-the-scenes interview with Metal Gear Rising’s development staff which discusses all of this in more detail at the top of this article.