Kojima on why 'misleading' trailers are important

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima says if trailers are too predictable, "then it's no longer fun."

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima does not like when trailers give too much away. He told Edge that it's "very important" to leave "misleading" hints in such videos, so that an upcoming product is never too predictable. His comments come as a response to his rumored involvement in mysterious and Metal Gear-like project The Phantom Pain.

"I do think it’s important to leave hints, but, in a sense, I think it’s important to mislead people with hints because I think if something’s too predictable then it’s no longer fun," Kojima said. "I think that's the problem with many Hollywood sequels; you get exactly what you expect."

"But what I want to do, is make people look forward to a game by watching the trailers and say "'Hey, that looks great.' But then, when they actually play it, they have this sort of epiphany where they realise 'Oh, so that’s what that was,'" he added. "And it all kind of comes together and clicks in their head. I think that's very important that you leave some sense of discovery for the player."

A trailer for a mysterious project called The Phantom Pain was shown during the Video Game Awards in December, though it has been speculated that this game may in fact be an elaborate tease for Metal Gear Solid 5.

Kojima will discuss the Fox Engine and Metal Gear: Ground Zeroes at a presentation during the 2013 Game Developers Conference later this month.

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Discussion

254 comments
IronBeaver
IronBeaver

Is misleading the right word? Maybe cryptic is. I am not sure what good a "misleading" trailer would do.

Sheik2
Sheik2

Master troll haha

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

Smart man.....Hollywood should consult with him, because they are now completely clueless on what a good trailer is.....nowadays trailers show you way, way too much.....it's just a 3 min movie summary basically. 

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Kojima is a god at trailers. I've been trying to decipher The Phantom Pain for months now. Shit's not easy.

SuperDutchy
SuperDutchy

Why does Hideo-san always look high in all his pics...must be where all that creativity comes from.

CraigNinten
CraigNinten

GT Countdown recently uploaded a video called top 10 misleading trailers, MGS2 being one of them. Note to self: the rest of the top 10 list included over-promised graphical power of PS3 hardware.

Adroa
Adroa

Well he did play a part in the greatest trailer of all time: Super Smash Bros. Brawl announcement trailer.  Then again that wasn't really misleading (other than the fact that it was the only part of the game they'd made up to that point).

Elwin2012
Elwin2012

Mister Kojima makes great games, 

PLEASE take my money sir for youre new projects...... :D

Sweendrix
Sweendrix

Kinda like - The latest Metal Gear game was no fun. 

jonajacket
jonajacket

"misleading trailers are important"

Kojima must have a great deal of admiration for the success of the entire Aliens: Colonial Marines marketing campaign.

Scarshi
Scarshi

I hated the Deus Ex Human Revolution trailer so much after getting the game. I want to play Squeenix's version, not the pasty paletted game with low-res cut-scenes.

fillup0
fillup0

I thin the Halo series nails Kojima's ideals perfectly. It lets people know the tone of the game, but the trailers never talk characterization to a huge extent. In the Halo 4 trailer, Cortana saying "I will not allow you to leave this planet!" in the trailer might have referred to Chief, but instead it refers to the Infinity. How would you have guessed that on your own?

fillup0
fillup0

Games should exhibit the tone of the trailers so that people are buying the product with the expectation of exploring a certain theme, but there should always be an unexpected layer of complexity.

Colonel_Jax
Colonel_Jax

As a film-maker and a film fan(with video games being artificially similar), I can understand what he's talking about. On one hand I am annoyed by trailers that are so tonally different from what the actual product is, it's almost a crime. However, in this world of mass media saturation, it's kind of hard to promote anything without giving away the best parts. It's a fine line, but I'm kind of glad someone actually speaks about how hard it is to walk this line.

Diablo-B
Diablo-B

You want to LIE in a trailer, ok. But you better damn well make sure that the actual game is better then what I see in the trailer.

sortajan
sortajan

the difference between misleading and unpredictable is fucking huge

crashmer
crashmer

Problem is most games don't have the intricacy to do that. The trailer IS the surprise, the actual game is meh.

magemaximus
magemaximus

Gamers: Misleading trailers suck.

Kojima: No they don't.

Gamers: Oh wait Kojima said they don't, so nvm.

kisado87
kisado87

Ok guys, have you seen a Kojima trailer? He's talking about misleading in terms of multiple interpretations on what's being shown. I remember all of those MGS trailers, including the new one, and it's all speculation from the get go. That's what he's talking about. What he isn't talking about is blatant hype for no reason - I'm looking at you Fable, Brink, basically any game that didn't live up to what was being advertised.

XZeroKPS
XZeroKPS

There's misleading and then there's lying. Lying = Brink trailer.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

sorry, misleading means lying to me. although i don't want spoilers in my trailers, i like to see what i am buying to a certain extent.  instead a trailer should tease not con me into believing something that will never happen. it is called the art of advertising,  not to be mistaken by the moronic marketing practices that seems to have crept in lately.

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

lol misleading trailers are more important to sales then your actual product.

Americans will buy anything, you just have to hypnotize them first.

leimonides
leimonides

Agreed, for the.most part; It's gotta be done right. Although, as someone has pointed out, "ambiguous", rather than "misleading", as misleading is a negative thing. Even the "bait-n-switch" thing that happened with MSG2, if done right, can be a great move. It's all in how its done.

angelbless
angelbless

Well Kojima is a genius, Im pretty confident that whatever comes out of his mind will be great :)

liononzion
liononzion

Exactly why the Assassins Creed reveal trailer was underwhelming. They gave you too much onfo. You know who the protagonist is, You know the location of the game and exactly what it will entail. You can guess the rest. You definately have to leave something to bedesired when showing off a game. Just make it look interesting but dont give the whole game away. Movies are guilty of the same thing recently

RogerioFM
RogerioFM

Bioshock 1 trailer says hi to you Kojima. You don't need to be misleading when you have good material.

giantqtipz
giantqtipz

yeah i think kojima meant to say "ambiguous" rather than "misleading". 

he likes to make his trailers mysterious (ambiguous), but they don't lie (misleading).

Dredcrumb9
Dredcrumb9

@Alucard_Prime Hollywood is owned by the Patriots(Illuminati). Lets hope he doesn't get too involved with Hollywood.

EbenOlemaun
EbenOlemaun

@Sweendrix I hope you aren't referring to Peace Walker, because that game was incredible.

super_voltron
super_voltron

@Diablo-B he didnt mean that kind of missleading. he meant silly little tricks like the raiden mask in mgs 3 (made people thing you played as raiden , then boom its big boss) stuff like that. mgs games always look as good as they say theyb will

fillup0
fillup0

@Crush_Project You do realize he's not talking about sales but rather, what consumers want? Regardless of the misleading nature of the trailer, people will still buy this next Kojima product in the same volume as always. This is purely a quality related issue.

fillup0
fillup0

@leimonides Agreed. Take Halo 4's trailers for exmaple, the only way you know about the antagonist is by the voice in the trailers, which made Halo 4 a surprise.

West123
West123

@PSYCHOV3N0M i hate seeing everything in a trailer like the man of steal trailer 2... they showed the whole movie! 

***SPOILERS****


small Clark..saves some kids

teenage Clark goes to find him self..cant fly or wont fly so hitch-hikes to north-pole

becomes super man

gets arrested for being bad-ass 

gets realised to... wait for it

fight ancient aliens 


Ayato_Kamina_1
Ayato_Kamina_1

@angelbless His trailers usually give me goosebumps because of what I have come to expect from him. I have faith that he won't lead me astray. He has passion for his work and the commercial side of it is an afterthought for him. More developers should learn from his approach, because it is his passion and ideals that have led him to develop some of the best games I've ever played.

Jamie-L
Jamie-L

@giantqtipz You think this is a case of a word being mistranslated from Japanese into English, or Kojima not having a good command of the English language if he speaks it?

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

like america needs an excuse to be bashed on lol.