Hideo Kojima states that he has no plans to open a sister studio to his new development house in North America, ditching the strategy employed by the old Kojima Productions.
Out of all the reveals at this year’s E3, few provoked quite as much conversation as the first trailer for Hideo Kojima’s next game, Death Stranding. The bizarre clip may have offered more questions than it did answers, but the auteur has been rather generous with information about his new studio.
The Metal Gear creator discussed his vision for the new Kojima Productions in an interview with Polygon published earlier today. The outlet asked Kojima whether he has any plans to collaborate with a Western studio, to which he replied probably not.
“We put out a website for people to send in their applications,” Kojima told the site, “and fortunately people from all over the world applied. I’m in daily interviews with so many people.” He went on to state that, as of six months since the studio’s formation was announced, the team has sufficient manpower and facilities to create the Death Stranding teaser and work on his ‘experiments’.
Previously, Kojima Productions L.A. had served as an extension of the core studio, which was based in the Roppongi region of Tokyo, Japan. However, the Western branch was shuttered as the relationship between Kojima and Konami broke down.
According to him, the idea behind having a studio in Tokyo and a studio in Los Angeles was the prospect of supplying franchises with annual releases. However, that strategy has now changed. “We want to put out something as handmade as possible,” said Kojima. “I’m thinking about our team. I’m not thinking about doing a huge Western studio.”
The very public spat between Kojima and Konami would seem to be a major factor in this decision. We’ll perhaps never know the ins and outs of the situation, but it’s clear that the company’s eagerness to chase the best possible financial return factored in to their strained relationship.
It seems Death Stranding is being developed with the game itself as the focus, rather than the opportunity to build a franchise or exploit an IP. The game’s mysterious reveal trailer certainly suggests that there’s an intriguing story in the works.
Kojima has the benefit of a legion of fans who are likely to buy whatever game he works on next, so a potentially risky project like Death Stranding has something of a safety net. However, it looks like the director is building his studio in such a way that he doesn’t have to support its existence with constant releases — and given how his relationship with Konami ended, that’s a very smart move.
Death Stranding is in development for PlayStation 4 and PC.