"Gamers Are Happy With What They Have"
Hideo Kojima, the legendary Konami director behind the likes of Metal Gear Solid and Snatcher, is worried about the future of the videogame industry, in particular our obsession with first-person shooters and Japan's waning influence. Speaking to The Official Playstation Magazine, Kojima revealed that, with "only ten really big games that can get gamers' attention", the rest of the market is at threat, especially Japan, which he fears cannot "compete on that level".
"It's much more competitive now," Kojima explained. "If you look at triple-A titles on a worldwide scale there's maybe only ten really big games that can get gamers' attention, and I'm not sure how Japan can compete on that level." Kojima recently rescued Metal Gear Solid spin-off, Rising - now Revengeance - from termination, shifting it from in-house at Konami to former Capcom devs, Platinum Games.
According to Kojima, the issue stems from "consume demand". We're all "happy with what we have", apparently, and with first-person shooters "selling like crazy", the demand for much else is low. Kojima's disappointment with this is obvious; and who can blame him? He has a history of driving forward the medium, so to see it at such a creative standstill must be depressing.
People are satisfied with making minor upgrades and tweaking things here and there - as long as that's the landscape, it will keep on happening. I don't see a problem necessarily, but at the same time it is nice to see new things come
Kojima suggests that, with big-budget risks a rarity nowadays, developers should look to releasing their ambitious titles online first. Testing the waters, so to speak, to prepare their audience and convince publishers to invest. "Making something that's completely new - where the gameplay, the characters, the world, everything is completely from scratch - that's very hard to realise in this day and age," he admitted. [OPM]