Metal Gear Creator Kojima Says Bigger Budgets Can Stifle Creativity

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s big budget has its benefits, but it makes it harder to maintain creative freedom, according to Kojima.

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Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima has said that it can be more difficult to maintain creative freedom when working on big-budget games.

“I want to use a lot of technology, but as we use more technology we need more budget, and when you need more budget it’s more difficult to put more authorship into [the game]; the relationship with the marketing department becomes more difficult,” Kojima said in a roundtable interview at E3 2014 attended by GameSpot. “So, as a creator it has become very difficult; the more technology we use, the more difficult [being creative] becomes.”

Kojima attended E3 to promote his most recent and biggest game to date, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The recently released prelude to that game, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, has been the subject of some controversy lately due to its depictions of torture.

As Kojima explained at the same roundtable interview, he expected people to have a strong reaction, but that he doesn’t want to shy away from presenting such subjects in his games, and that they’re meant to make players empathize and understand Snake's motivations.

Earlier this year, Kojima also said games will never be considered culture if they don't broach sensitive subjects.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is currently in development for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, though publisher Konami has not announced a release date for the game yet. For more on it, be sure to read GameSpot's previous coverage from E3 this week.

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xelectrowolfx

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SSEEXX

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PC always has no chance with kojima ,and no one knows why!

Although PC gives him freedom to do what he cannot do on consoles

dear kojima if you care much about the space and i know you do

i have 2TB ready for your game

lool :(

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opellium_52

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Is this an open world game? wow, MGS has never been open world before. And i dont understand why, with the claimed 'big budget' you cant even release a pc version

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mr_azim

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Because it would end up on 12 DVDs

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Letrico

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Because Metal Gear Solid games has always been console exclusive except the Metal Gear RIsing. But you can expect the game might pop up in the future on PC as Kojima already stated his interest in releasing MGSV on PC before.

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SpLiTMaN

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> heum dude metal gear 1 and 2 were *** pc games and then mgs 1 and 2 made there way to pc and so did mgr...kojima as said forever about his love for pc and probly hes just recoding every game hes made for some special pc collection in the future...probly like 2 years after mgs 5 finally launches..

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darkknight9174

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Makes sense. It is a balancing act really. If you don't have enough of a budget you can't attract enough talent to do advanced things with technology or creativity, or if you do have the talent you probably don't have enough of it to finish the project in a reasonable amount of time. Look at some of the mod teams out there. They have some great ideas and a lot of talent from people who love what they're doing so much that they do it for free or for donations. However, many of their projects take years and years and years.


I would really like to see companies invest more in attracting creative talent. I'm talking about great writers, gameplay, level and world designers. I'm not saying there isn't already a lot of investment in these areas, but IMO the most important aspects of a game are gameplay, story and art/world design/direction. If any of those three are terrible (story has more leeway with multiplayer and can be compensated for with awesome gameplay) then I don't care if the game is open world with 1,000 square miles of game world, 500 hours of gameplay, and life-like graphics.

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PlatinumPaladin

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Makes sense. The more money that someone invests in you, the bigger the risk they're taking and therefore the more control they'd be wanting to take.

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BelaidKL

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This is why we need indie games more than ever... Big companies wouldn't want to risk too much money on a untested idea.. Guarantee if No Mans Sky is a hit we'll see a heck of a lot more AAA companies make games of a similar ilk

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santinegrete

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Biggger budgets with also bigger ambitions, yep, I've seen that happening a lot.

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cratecruncher

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Never played an MGS game but I've seen that technology has been compensating for lackluster story telling, gameplay, and level design for over 15 years. In the late '90s every series went "3D". In the '00s many series went "sandbox". Now it's "procedural". Next it will be "VR". Mix in a steady progression of impressive graphical enhancements and and consumers see a mirage of added value with each iteration despite playing the same characters and recycled stories.


A developer can push the tech and make lots of money but if a series is getting stale sooner or later technical progress is going to have a lull and expose it. There is no substitute for creativity. It is the one thing that is truly independent of time and progress. Deus Ex, Fallout, Morrowind, System Shock, are not cutting edge tech yet people keep going back to play them. Why? GOG has made a business of selling obsolete games. How is that?


Again, not talking about MGS. Not trying to pick a fight. Just making a general observation.

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G30Rg3PSc0tT

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Smaller budgets force people to think outside the box when a problem presents, and you need to deal with it cheaply. Larger budgets mean devs have to cater to as many people as possible in order to make it profitable.

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FunkerAzmain

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Booooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Release this along with the previous metal gear games for the pc!!!!!!!!!!!

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Bienio11

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Agree!!! Give us Pc Version Kojima!!!

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sym

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Bring back Otogi:MythofDemons Vote Here: << LINK REMOVED >>

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wexorian

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Yeah creativity to robe ppl, for 10 min game that cost 30$ INNOVATION!!!

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Letrico

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Please don't comment if you never played Ground Zeroes. It kills me to see such uneducated comment.

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deactivated-5f47e8820d2dc

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I wouldn't mind a robe... what sort of material we talking?

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VenkmanPHD

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Much like your games Kojima, this doesn't make any sense.

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MrTekku

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@VenkmanPHD Have you even played the Metal Gear series? There's not a single game that isn't unique on its own, and that pushes the series forward in some area. To be able to pull that off with the challenges he mentions in a AAA environment is somewhat astonishing. And he now takes the biggest risk ever with The Phantom Pain by completely changing the tone, controls and world structure. He even changes the iconic voice actor that has been around for 16 years. If anything he should be an inspiration to most developers that are working on high budget games.

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Tyaj

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Look up the name Dan Pink, I think you'll find some answers that relate to what Kojima is talking about.

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ShadowSkill11

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Nah... keep right on torturing the crap out of white people in your games Mr. Kojima. Screw the corporate pigs. Now that you have Jack Bower on the payroll I suggest you go full Bower on those S.O.B's.

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Halloll

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bigger budget means higher costs, so you will need to reach to a wider audience which make you dump down your game (Thief 4) , this is why there is so much homogeneity in AAA titles making them feel too similar to each other.

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Sohereiam

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<< LINK REMOVED >> The "more budget" is one of the problems, the sponsors that lend the money often don't wanna risk, and the stupid copyright laws is another one, if you use a candy whiteout permission of the copyright and trademark holders, or use in a way they don't want, they can sue you and the copyright protectors can remove every product from your work leaving it naked, actually if they remove everything you won't be able to use symbols on shirts.


Wanna know more? then watch "The greatest movie ever sold"

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deactivated-5d9e7b16c132a

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It's a matter of integrity. Look at what CDPR does. They say it, DRM is useless, we're not going to waste resources on it. They don't hold back and they are fair with their consumers.

They try and make the game that they would like to play, that's what dictates the direction everything goes, but when big greedy suits take over, their vision is no longer led by artistic ambition but by revenue and that's when everything usually turns to shit and understandably so. Stakes are raised, so does pressure. You have to try and sell your game by hyping but not over doing it, and then journalists and the crazy fanbases xD mostly can contribute to that hype. One can lose control and focus on what actually matters... I'm just going to make the game I want to play.

This is why so many great games are born out of mods, a lot of them free. Artists just went: "No one is making that game, I want to play a game like that, whyyy is nobody doing it. Well I guess we'll just have to do it. (Ex: Skywind)"

Gaming community is intense, the crazy bandwaggon and fanboyism can go both ways. People can be incredibly supportive, look again at CDPR, the ominous support they get is awesome. Steam also gets a lot of love and let's be honest here, steam is great. And then people can be divas and lash back if we get screwed with some bs DLC, useless forced software Uplay that only punishes the people who actually buy the games, and being crappy ports on top of that. Blizzard had a nearly flawless record before D3 lol, (again greed: adding shit like RMAH just because WoW monthly subs weren't enough), that game was a wasteland until recently they made the changes that the community wanted, and the game is a lot better.


Point isI think it's easy to get confused in that industry. But you gotta manage to find a way to balance it out, and having the intention of selling a 40$ game that isn't worth that is a bit weird, you know, feels like you're trying to **** me here! Things like The Elder Scrolls Online. That game is not worth all that $. You have to pay extra to unlock full content + the regular monthly subscription and you have to set up your subscription with your credit card # before even trying the free month that comes with the game, a game that is clearly riding on the franchise name...? There you go again! Trying to **** me! People don't like that.


In conclusion: Don't be a dick, be honest about your work and keep that ego in check. People will support MGS if it's good. That bandwagon is large enough.

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RemyNova

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Indie games are sometimes eye candy, but very boring compared to well made triple A games. Truth.

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Kunakai

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@remynova Try telling that to the people who've sunk a billion hours into Minecraft and Kerbal Space Program. Indie games can do just as well as and better than Triple A's.

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blee575

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@remynova Thing is, AAA titles are becoming less and less specialized and innovative as the production costs go up. There was a time when I was up for AAA titles as well, but that slowly changed over the past 10 years.

To appeal to a wider audience, AAA titles nowadays can hardly be considered "art". With a few exceptions most of them feauture generic, simple gameplay and mainstream storylines, based on the ''fight-watch cutscenes-fight-watch cutscenes'' pattern.

The video games scene reminds me the music one: with some notable exceptions, AAA games are like Justin Bieber music. Made for the masses.

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RemyNova

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<< LINK REMOVED >> An opinionated Hipster, who's too cool for mainstream. So, college sophmore.

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ERRMAHGERD

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<< LINK REMOVED >> well wow I never thought I'd find a fellow AAA enthusiast. I'm stoked for all the major AAA games coming soon, whilst my friends took the scenic indie route

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DrKill09

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So is THAT why you released a $30 demo, and the story makes NO sense?

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Yes_Um_No_Yeah

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Don't pick up the demo and the overall story makes plenty of sense, it's just riddled with details that make it hard to follow if you haven't played the games.

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ShadowSkill11

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Wasn't it only $30 if you bought it on disc for some reason?

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ShogunTake

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<< LINK REMOVED >> "story makes NO sense?"

I take it you're relatively new to the series then? Either that or you have a learning disability. It doesn't take a genius to understand the story as long as you keep up.

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Archangel2222

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Nope, the game is still fun and great and clocks in alot of hours for several people even for $30, even less if you get the digital. Dont know why people are whinging. MGS makes plenty sense and is the best franchise period out there. Great gameplay, story is told in a way that changed the gaming world, look at the ps1 version everyone is now doing it. Graphics are always top notch for its time, the series delivers and never disappoints. Haters gonna hate thats all

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HussonEagle1989

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XBOX FEEDBACK SHENMUE 3. VOTE HERE << LINK REMOVED >>

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HermitKiller

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GTA V on PC is like me being a milllionaire, never in this lifetime.

Emulate it my hermit friends hehe xDDDD!!

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wexorian

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They announced on E3 that GTA comes to pc kiddo

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deactivated-5e83c14458072

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Hey, somebody lost a toddler here.

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Redblaze27

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Games have been culture.

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battlefront1943

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With shrinking AAA revenue and larger AAA development costs, corporates are forcing sequeling and strangling creativity -- taking chances isn't something giant corporations with shareholders usually feel comfortable with. They want the safest return on their investment.

What's happening now is that some of the "rockstars" of game design who have their own fans are now looking at leaving the corporate system and leveraging their "rockstar" status to head indie projects where there's more freedom and chances can be taken. This could be bad for the giant AAA titles, but great for gaming overall. This was probably the reason Ken Levine dissolved Irrational.

Kojima certainly saw great monies developing MGSV, but the amount of that investment couldn't easily be recouped by MSGV's $60 alone... so we got the prelude demo stripped form the main game and sold separately, MGS:GZ.

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abcdefgabcdefgz

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and people realize the ugly downside to ever prettier graphics.

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santinegrete

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<< LINK REMOVED >> nope, they're pretty much negationist or prefer to point at indie games as "this is just for casuals, bring the AAA" ignoring how the cost of AAA is crushing the business itself under it's own weight. Last Tomb Raider was a great example of it, that's why there's like 3 releases (standard, GoTY, Definitive), because the game needed all the money it could get, even with early Steam deals. When all people plays simplified pretty game they'll figure out, I hope.

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LonelyHippie27

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After E3 I'm still excited for this game the most

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