Frequent Kojima collaborator Yoji Shinkawa reveals that he expects to be tasked with designing mechs for the director’s first project following his split with Konami.
Fans of Hideo Kojima will have been happy to hear this week’s news that the celebrated director is finally free of his contract with Konami, and is now settling into a development agreement with Sony. Now, there’s word that the resulting project might not stray too far from Kojima’s wheelhouse.
Yoji Shinkawa has long been a trusted Kojima collaborator — his inked art has become an instantly recognizable trademark of the Metal Gear series. According to a report from Videogamer, Shinkawa has been named the art director for the new Kojima Productions.
In an interview detailing his hiring, Shinkawa went into some of the specifics of his new role. For the most part, he seemed keen to stress that his job looks set to be the same as it always has been working with Kojima — even mentioning specifically that he expects to be creating more mech designs for the director.
Of course, the titular mechs of the Metal Gear series will be what most fans think of first, but Kojima has been working with robots for much of his career. Mech combat was the sole focus of Zone of Enders, and even the cult classic adventure game Snatcher was packed full of robots and androids.
We know that Kojima doesn’t have rights to the Metal Gear franchise, and in fact it seems that Konami will likely attempt to continue the series without its creator. Still, it’s good to see that the auteur isn’t being scared away from his favourite subject matter as a result of a messy exit from his former employer.
The split between Kojima and Konami was unhappy, drawn out and very public. It would have been easy to imagine a scenario where Kojima took the dispute as his cue to exit the video game industry, but fans around the world will be pleased to hear news of him getting back to work.
Now, we’re sure to see an influx of hype and speculation with regards to the specifics of Kojima’s budding project. We know that the director is keen to work with Guillermo Del Toro and interested in experimenting with VR — but it’s unclear just what sort of timeline we’re looking at before he can release his first post-Konami game.