Ground Zeroes won't be afraid to cross a few lines.
The Metal Gear saga has a bizarre stance on maturity. The stealth/action games often touch on serious current events (child soldiers, private military contractors, and posthumanism, to name a few), but counters these heavy topics with equally immature humor (I'm looking at you, Johnny Sasaki and your irritable bowel syndrome). Series creator Hideo Kojima wants to see games embrace mature themes, and though the medium isn't there yet, he hopes to set an example with the next Metal Gear Solid installment, Ground Zeroes.
"Over the past 25 years, I have tried to work with the Metal Gear series to try and introduce more mature themes," Kojima explained. "But really, it hasn't happened yet, compared to movies or books. There's still a long way to go. That's precisely what I want to try and tackle with my next project, Ground Zeroes."
We still don't know what message Ground Zeroes will have to tell: details on the game's story are thin at the moment, and what we do know is about as cryptic as one might expect from Kojima's infamously twisting plotlines. What we do know is that Hideo isn't interested in pulling any punches.
"I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes, that really are quite risky," he admitted. "Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'll be able to release the game! And even if I did release the game, maybe it wouldn't sell, because [the themes would be] just too much. But as a creator, I want to take that risk." Kojima acts as both creator and producer of Ground Zeroes, so technically it's his job to make sure the game sells well. "But I'm approaching this project from the point of view of a creator," he admits, "where I'm prioritizing creativity over sales."
Kojima justifies this focus on risky ideas by falling back on his other current project, Metal Gear Rising, which he expects will lend him a buffer zone of commercial success. "It's very possible that some time in the future after Ground Zeroes is out, I may be called up by management," Kojima laughed, "who will say, "Kojima! What are you doing? Ground Zeroes isn't selling! What have you done?" And at that point I'll [hopefully be able to] say, "Don't worry! Rising is selling well!"
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is expected to hit shelves later in 2013, so you can see for yourself how far Mr. Kojima has advanced the medium.