The Future Of Metal Gear Lies In Player Freedom, Says Hideo Kojima

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Last week, Metal Gear Solid series creator, Hideo Kojima, spoke at British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), where he answered a number of questions regarding his thoughts on the past, present and future of videogames. While you can find the full transcript here, below is what Kojima had to say regarding his vision of an “ultimate” Metal Gear game:


Q: I have a question specifically about Metal Gear, all through the Metal Gear games you can see the progression toward the open world environment – obviously Snake Eater and then Metal Gear Solid 4 – and now they are Ground Zeroes. My question is, is the open world Metal Gear your ultimate version of Metal Gear or are you planning to go even further than that?


Hideo Kojima: First of all if you give somebody a mission, and say your mission is to go and rescue this person, already you create some drama there. However if you take that a step further and say give the person the power to decide how they get there, what time they arrive, what kind of path they use to sneak into the base then it creates even more drama and gives them more freedom. So it’s not so much that I’ve been aiming to create an open world game so much as I just want to give players the freedom to do things in a way that feels natural to them.


Up until this point, if you had a hundred people and you made them play a game, they’d all basically arrive at the same time, take the same route, use the same equipment to get the job done. But what I want to do from this point on is give people the freedom, so if you have a hundred people and you give them this mission then they’ll all come back with a hundred different stories.


They may arrive at a different time, use a different route to get into the base, use different weapons and equipment. So rather than having one great, dramatic story you have a hundred. That’s really what I want to accomplish. So it’s not necessarily that I’m aiming for open world, that’s not the [be all and] end all, what I want to do is give people the freedom to create their own stories and create something that’s very personal to them. That’s what I want to accomplish.


Kojima is currently at work on two projects—Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and the Ogre Project, both of which are being developed using his studio’s proprietary “Fox Engine”. Additionally, Kojima Productions are also tinkering away at a Zone of the Enders game, titled Enders Project.

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Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.