Hideo Kojima really doesn't like having to delay games. In fact, he thinks it's the single greatest betrayal of trust a developer can make.
Last week, it was announced that the upcoming PSP stealth-action Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker would see its Japanese release date delayed by more than a month, from March 18 to April 29 (though the May release in the US and UK remained unchanged). Though Hideo Kojima may have agreed to the delay, that doesn't mean he has to like it - and Kojima clearly doesn't like it.
In a post on his blog, the legendary game designer said that there was one value he tried to instill in his staff over and over again: Don't delay a game. "I always preach to the staff, 'You must not have a delay after a release date has been announced. There is no greater crime as a game developer,'" said Kojima, saying that delays betray the trust of people looking forward to your game.
"Official announcement of a release date is nothing less than a promise to fans and business partners. In other words, a release date change is like betraying the expectations of everyone ... It probably takes a long time to earn back trust [from the fans] that has been lost. However we will work hard, with the hope that we will one day earn the support of everyone again."
And as for Peace Walker? "At present, Kojima Productions is putting our full efforts on final tuning and brush ups, in aim of completion," said the series creator.
On the one hand, it's nice to see that the man clearly has principles he's willing to stand behind (other than "Nanomachines did it," of course). On the other hand - dude, it's just pushing the game back by a month. It ain't the biggest problem in the world, here.
Kojima's statements would seem to conflict with that of another legendary Japanese game designer: The mantra "A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever," is usually attributed to Nintendo guru Shigeru Miyamoto. Kojima may think that delaying a game is the worst thing a developer can do, but what about releasing a game that isn't up to par? Isn't that betraying the fans' expectations, too?
Sadly, it looks like this means that my dream crossover of Kojima and StarCraft: Ghost just won't happen - I'd guess working with companies like Valve and Blizzard would drive the man absolutely crazy.
Well, more crazy than he is now, anyway.