Developer Spotlight: Kojima Productions

Hideo Kojima is undoubtedly one of the most recognized and respected names in game development. While the Metal Gear Solid franchise is his claim to fame, he's also responsible for the creation of beloved series like Zone of the Enders and Snatcher. His studio, Kojima Productions, was founded in 2005 to distinguish itself as a subsidiary of Konami, and has gone on to create some incredible game experiences, most of which set within the confines of the Metal Gear series.

 


Thinking Outside the Box

What makes Kojima Productions such a special studio? It's not just the games it produces, but the events and zeitgeist that often precede their releases. Whether it's a controversial trailer, countdown teasers that lead to more countdown teasers, or even the creation of a fake studio, Kojima isn't afraid to troll and/or rile up his fan base. Remember when "Moby Dick Studios" announced a game called The Phantom Pain? I'll never forget the speculation that ensued after its reveal, as gamers starting piecing together the clues that this was in fact an elaborate hoax, and ultimately a tease for Metal Gear Solid V.

To put it simply, Kojima and his studio are completely unpredictable, and for that very reason, Kojima Productions is one of the most fascinating game studios of all time. Need I remind you of the "playable teaser" that ended up being a Silent Hills reveal staring The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus? Epic.

Influential Past

Many herald Metal Gear Solid as the greatest PlayStation game of all time, and rightly so. Kojima not only revolutionized the stealth-action genre, but also raised the bar for video game storytelling. With top-notch voice acting and insanely intricate cutscenes, the original MGS was more than just a game, it was an interactive narrative. Game series like Uncharted owe a lot to the foundation first laid by Hideo Kojima, as story-driven action games have become a huge part of the industry and likely will be for years to come.

Since then, the Metal Gear Solid series has only continue to evolve and innovate, but Kojima's involvement expands far beyond just the iconic stealth-action series. The last-generation Castlevania title Lords of Shadow was guided by his development studio, and his new FOX Engine is undoubtedly going to be a valuable resource for powering a slew of different Konami franchises in the years to come.

Exciting Future

The next big game coming from Kojima Productions is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and based on what we've seen thus far, this fifth entry in the series is taking the franchise in some bold new directions. Not only does the game look freakishly lifelike (thanks to the power of the FOX Engine), it also is absolutely massive, taking the stealth-action genre into open-world territory. The voice of Big Boss has also changed, as Hollywood talent Kiefer Sutherland is taking the place of David Hayter.

Then there's Silent Hills, a brand-new entry in the Konami's iconic horror franchise, which is also being developed by Kojima Productions. If the playable teaser is any indication of what's to come, this game is going to be one of the scariest titles the medium has ever seen. Let's also not forget that Guillermo del Toro is involved. 

So yeah, I'd say it's probably a good idea to keep Kojima Productions on your radar as we move forward into 2015 and beyond.