Kojima: Bigger budgets make authorship more difficult

Metal Gear creator on finding the balance between marketing and message

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has explained why the increasing costs and technical prowess of the series could threaten its very content, and why the games need to tackle difficult subjects like sexual assault.

"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," he said in a roundtable interview, reported by Gamasutra.

"So, as a creator it has become very difficult; the more technology we use, the more difficult [being creative] becomes."

Kojima is at promoting Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. The franchise has recently faced controversy for its treatment of rape, after Ground Zeroes featured a recording that heavily implied acts of rape and child rape between Paz, Chico and Skull Face.

Kojima seemed to defend this decision with the argument that upsetting scenes such as these are key to the themes of the Metal Gear story.

"Certainly, what I'm trying to do is different from just shooting at zombies," Kojima explained.

"I'm trying to depict something, a very specific message about things that happened in history. I think that, just because I have a very specific theme I want to relate, there are things that I just cannot look away from and I need to depict."

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Latest comments (3)

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 7 years ago
Do something in film its ok, do the same thing in a game its bad. I think that exploring these types of themes is what will allow games to grow and mature into a medium as complex and sophisticated as other forms of expression such as film, photography and art.

I really hope we see an award show like the oscars( for film) and grammies (for music), but for games. And that video games are treated as a medium just as important as film and music. In which big game developers and industry fifures such as Hideo Kojima, Shiguru Miyamoto, Eiji Aonuma, Yoshinori Ono, John Carmack, Peter Molyneux and other great game creators could have the exposure and recognition they deserve.

Cause being a video gamer most of my life, I still viewed as something immature and childish. So maybe with these types of games that touch more seriouse subject matter and allow you the viewer, to go about it in a way that you cant in film... maybe... just maybe... it will be seen as a medium for telling a seriouse sophisticated story alongside film.
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Sergio Rosa7 years ago
I have never played any MGS game (either), but it doesn't matter because I am not going to discuss Kojima's position itself.

I went to read a few articles about the subject (because I didn't even know the scene was present in the game), all discussing "how it was handled wrong." But it makes me wonder what kind of scene or sequence (on screen, of course) would people think it was handled right? Will there be a day when we get the "Irreversible" of games, or will we have to stick to trigger-happy dudes and "destruction porn"?

EDIT: In case you don't know, Irreversible is a french movie where there's a nearly 10 minute long rape and beating sequence (that's what people say. I haven't watched the movie and chances are I never will).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sergio Rosa on 12th June 2014 6:38pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 7 years ago
Well the story of Big Boss is pretty epic... and what i finally want to know is what had to happen that made him such a bad person. And Im assuming it had to be something very terrible. And if you play Metal Gear Solid 3, it has to be something really terrible to top what happened in that part of the story. So im really interested in the story of this new game.
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