Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima says he plans to dramatically overhaul the Kojima Productions studio in order to make his games more accessible and competitive with Western productions.
Despite the success of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which is one of the best-selling titles for the PlayStation 3 and sparked a brief but dramatic surge in the console's sales when it was released, Kojima said 2009 was going to be "a very important year" for the studio as it reviews its team and processes to determine how to better "challenge foreign creators and software houses."
"I've come to understand that the way we've made games up until now won't translate globally, and I've come to think that I need to make Kojima Productions a team that can compete alongside the rest of the world," he told Famitsu. "I've thought a lot about how Western games have been winning, looking it from a global perspective, and there are things that I've noticed. So 2009 will be a year of change, a year where we start from zero again."
"With games, you've got to use cutting-edge techniques, and doing so costs money," he continued. "So I don't think you can make games that just appeal to the Japanese market. So, 2009 will see us continuing to think how to create a team that can take on the world."
In light of the success he's had so far, Kojima's "tear it down and start over" attitude is a bit of a surprise. Of course, it could just be a little bit of hype as a way to keep himself in the public eye, but it may also be a harbinger of something bigger: a new franchise, perhaps, or a move away from the PlayStation 3. There's no doubt that many Japanese games have difficulty penetrating the Western market, but is the Metal Gear series really one of them?