Hideo Kojimas trip was as much about preparing to run his own studio, as it was about finding technology.
While his trip along side Playstation 4 architect Mark Cerny was primarily to explore the technology being used by several of Sonys studios, it is clear Kojima was also intent on learning as much as he could in regards to the challenges ahead of him as he starts up his own studio. While he is certainly a well seasoned developer having been the creative force behind some of the industries biggest titles(i.e. Metal Gear Solid), this is the first time Kojima has had to run the whole show. Kojima and Sony saw this adventure as a means to help prepare Kojima for the transition from his days as a popular figurehead at Konami, to running his own studio at Kojima Productions.
Kojima and Cerny began their trip by checking out the motion capture technology used by Sonys Visual Arts & Services Group in San Diego. From there they met up with a few friends in Los Angeles before taking a flight to Seattle to meet the developers behind the Infamous series, Sucker Punch Productions. Next up was a trip to Oregon to mingle with the staff at SCE Bend Studio, most famous for being the creators of the Syphon Filter games, and the PS Vita Uncharted games. Kojima finished off the US portion of his trip by taking a flight to Santa Monica CA, where he would meet up with The Last of Us and Uncharted developer Naughty Dog, as well as God of War developer SCE Santa Monica, and heading back up to San Francisco to the SCEA headquarters.
The European leg of Kojimas trip began in London UK where he received a very rare 1 of 1 vinyl record from his friend Midge Ure before checking out the happenings with SCE London Studios VR team. Next stop on his adventure, Guildford UK, where he shared some haggis with the folks at Media Molecule, developers of the fabulous Little Big Planet series. With the journey coming to a close, Kojima and Cerny got on yet another flight, this time heading out to Amsterdam to meet up with the folks at Guerilla Games, makers of the Killzone series, and the upcoming Horizon: Zero Dawn due out later this year. While in Europe, developers of the Crysis games Crytek tried valiantly to encourage Kojima to stop by their offices to show off their own technology, though do not appear to have gotten their wish. Kojimas trip ended after visiting David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream, famous for making thrilling tales with multiple paths & endings like Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and the upcoming Detroit: Become Human.
With his trip now over, Hideo Kojima shared his thoughts on the past 10 days, and what lies ahead of him as he starts up his new development studio, Kojima Productions. Starting off with a quote from famous science-fiction novelist Arthur C Clarke, Kojima shares his heartfelt feelings.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
While reflecting on that quote, Kojima said… “So I may conclude that the game creation is to use the magic to this real world with the use of the latest technology. Or to say, to make the dream of the people in this real world come true by magic. But just having technology doesn’t mean you can make magic.
“Human resources who can maneuver technology and the environment to pull out their talent is necessary. And the most importantly the vision of the studio has to be accurate in order to embrace technology, human resources, and environment. With all these facts make the latest technology magic.
“And what I’ve learned the most in this trip: start up the new studio, hire the staff to work with, find the office, construct organization, work on the latest technology, and step into the challenge of creating the new magic. This might sound as if I’m starting over from scratch.
“But I got fans supporting me, friends who share my dream, all over in this world. So it’s not starting from scratch. I continue creating the cutting-edge game that I’ve been doing for 30 years, as always done.”
Kojima certainly has a fan here, and I will absolutely support him by buying his first game as an independent developer when it comes out. Especially if it turns out to be based on the Silent Hills concept he worked on with Guillermo Del Toro, which he may have hinted at before heading out on this 10 day adventure. I am looking forward to learning what Kojima will make now that he’s gone independent. Good luck Kojima-san, may you continue to find success in all that you create.
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