Metal Gear Rising Q&A. Kojima: ‘I’m Not a Katana Maniac Like Itagaki’

We attended the special Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance Q&A session with famed game designer, Hideo Kojima, and Platinum Games producer, Atsushi Inaba (Viewtiful Joe, God Hand, Okami).

Why isn’t Kojima Productions Developing it?
We found out that Platinum Games had started developing Metal Gear Rising around early 2011, but I’m sure you’re all wondering why MGR, which was being internally developed by Kojima Productions, needed any help at all. It turns out that Kojima allowed his younger staff to develop the game by themselves, and he took a hands-off approach. That didn’t turn out too well, as the less-experienced bunch decided to try to make a game in which Raiden could cut anything, including enemies, large vehicles, and buildings. The team ran into a roadblock, and the game apparently sat in limbo for about 6 months starting around May of 2010. Although they weren’t too clear on the timeline, Kojima said that Platinum Games started work on the title in late 2010/early 2011.

Okay, So Why Platinum Games?

Hideo Kojima has apparently been friends with Hideki Kamiya and Atsushi Inaba for about 10 years or so. For all of you video game otakus out there, catch this bit of information: A long time ago, Kojima asked both of them how much money they were making, and when he found out, he said, “That’s not enough. Come work for me”. Kojima originally, specifically asked for Hideki Kamiya to work on Metal Gear Rising, but Inaba said that Kamiya will repeatedly delay the project. So, Inaba was allowed to start the project.

Why Not Someone Else?

Well, Kojima did consider many different developers, even western ones. However, he thought that since the focus of the game was the katana, a Japanese developer would do it best. Kojima joked that if he let a western developer work on the game, he might come back a year and find that they had attached a gun to a chainsaw as the main weapon (ouch). There might also be something to the fact that Kojima said that he wants, “Made in Japan”, to again mean that you are getting the best games in the world.

Okay, So Let’s Get Back to the Game

Here’s a shocker for you: Metal Gear Rising may not include stealth gameplay. Yeah, I know, I know. It has the Metal Gear name in it, but it’s definitely going in a more action-oriented direction. Atsushi Inaba said that he wants “…everyone to be happy that Platinum Games got involved.” He also said that his job is to take the concept and make something fun, and that he wants to meet Hideo Kojima’s expectations, but he also wants to do what he wants to do. “If my team wasn’t passionate about Metal Gear Solid, then we wouldn’t have been able to start the project.” Inaba said that he is aiming to make the game fun, and to have depth and high-speed action.

Aren’t Metal Gear Games Big on Story?
There’s no telling just how detailed the story is going to get in this new title, but Tamari from Kojima Productions will be writing it. The story was originally set to take place between Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4, but if it lead into 4, then the ending would already be decided; so it was decided that it would take place after MGS4: Guns of the Patriots.

Speaking of high-speed action, Kojima joked that while the game is high-speed action, the development process is high-speed too. At one point, Kojima even said that he does the work of 20 men. Wait, I don’t think that was a joke. It was probably a cry for help from a game designer bombarded with responsibilities.

Speaking of Kojima…
In case you were wondering, Metal Gear Rising was actually not Kojima’s idea, it was his staff’s. He says that if he were to choose between making a game with guns or katanas, he would probably choose katanas. “I’m not a katana maniac like Itagaki”, Kojima joked.

That’s all we have for you now, everyone. How do you feel about the direction of Metal Gear Rising? Is Platinum Games up to the task, or is Kojima making a horrible mistake?

We were also treated to an interesting documentary on the development of Metal Gear Rising, which you can now view at Konami’s official site.

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