According to anonymous sources Hideo Kojima’s contract with game developer and publisher Konami ends in December of this year. It is well known in the video game industry that Kojima no longer works for Konami contrary to the company’s official statement “Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work.” His studio, Kojima Productions owned by Konami, has also been disbanded according to voice actor Akio Otsuka, the voice of Snake in the Japanese version of The Phantom Pain. As of now Hideo Kojima’s future is unclear but holds many possibilities. He has been saying for years that every Metal Gear Solid game would be his last and that he wants to move on to new projects. Now that he no longer works for Konami and is no longer shackled to Metal Gear Solid for better or for worse he can move on to new things. So what is next for one of the most prolific game designers of our time? Here are some interesting possibilities for the Martin Scorsese of video games.
Write a Novel
Hideo Kojima has written the story and script for every main Metal Gear game since its inception so, it’s apparent he is a good writer. While some may disagree, his writing style is entertaining and incredibly interesting. Writing an original novel would be a good step for Kojima. He could better flesh out a new story and characters without being constrained a game that takes years to develop. Kojima has stated that in an interview that he is an avid “I try to read two books a week.” The Metal Gear story has many twists and turns and is a complex web with all its characters and timelines spanning many decades. At times it can be very confusing with the complex and layered ideas, as a book though it would work well. This iconic Kojima style would be great for a completely new piece of fiction. A thriller of some sort, a story of espionage and politics like the novels of Tom Clancy or better yet a spy novel like the James Bond books by Ian Fleming that have also inspired the Metal Gear series.
Form a New Game Studio
Out of all the speculation forming a new video game studio seems to be the most probable next step for Kojima. Whether his potential new studio will be independent or be part of a big publisher like Sony or Microsoft seems to be the bigger question. Kojima has been saying for years he is done with Metal Gear and the he wants to move on to new projects. A new studio would great news since, he has proven to be a super creative individual and a visionary but, has always been constrained to world of Metal Gear. It would be exciting to see Kojima develop a RPG, an open world game or even a survival horror game like PT, an interactive teaser he and his former studio produced. It has since been pulled from the Playstation Store by Konami. After playing many hours of The Phantom Pain and experiencing all the RPG elements, an open world game by Kojima would be incredibly exciting. If he forms a new studio with some of the key people that worked with him on the Metal Gear Solid franchise like art director Yoki Shinkawa, anything they work on will surely be great. Honestly with Kojima’s creative direction and obsession with detail and plot any game he heads, even a racing game, will be a very exciting.
Make a Film
It’s common knowledge Kojima loves film. His goal in every Metal Gear game he developed was to make it as cinematic s possible from the camera angles and story to the motion capture and music score. On his Twitter Profile his simple one line description is “Game Designer: 70% of my body is made of movies.” Kojima has a deep appreciation of film. He has worked with the film music composer Harry Gregson Williams to score many of his games and even hired well known actor Kiefer Sutherland to play Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid V. Kojima has written, produced and directed every Metal Gear game that is considered canon, the only thing closer to film he could do would be to produce and direct his own film. While there were talks of a potential Metal Gear Solid film years ago, chances of that every happening today are close to impossible due to the stae of Konami and Kojima. As of this upcoming December Hideo Kojima will no longer be employed at Konami and Konami as a company is moving in a different direction away from Metal Gear Solid and other big budget games. Regardless of the current relationship of the creator and his former employer, Kojima has proven he can write and direct video games, games that are incredibly cinematic and at times indistinguishable from film. Based on his experience and love of film the next logical step would be to produce a film himself. Metal Gear Solid games have always had a bit of a Christopher Nolan style to them. That focus on an incredibly complex sometimes convoluted narrative would make a fun film as proven by most of Nolan’s films. Personally I would love to see Kojima attempt a good thriller or over the top action film of some sort.
Create a TV Series
Why a TV series? Given Kojima’s style of creating long complex stories, a TV series with episodic content would lend itself well to the guy who is thinking 10 steps ahead. While it is the least likely next step for the Kojima, iit would still be pretty neat. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has a heavy focus on episodic stories. Every one of the 50 story missions has opening and ending credits as if they were each their very own film or TV episode. Kojima even went as far to create a teaser trailer for Chapter 2 in the game for players to watch after completing Chapter 1. He clearly likes the idea of an episodic narrative. A TV series would work to Kojima’s advantage because of how he constructs a story. It’s not a simple A to B story there are twists and turns with subplots. Imagine if Kojima tried to bottle a game like Metal Gear Solid 2 into a 2 hour film. Kojima couldn’t even explain the entire story of Metal Gear across the 8 games considered canon during 28 years of development. This medium would benefit to Kojima’s style much better than film and capture our imagination for much longer than the standard 2 hour film.
What do you think Hideo Kojima will do next? Leave your answer in the comments.