Kojima: ‘First Person Shooters Sell, Stops Original Ideas Being Made’

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has expressed his concerns with the current state of the global games industry and questioned the role of Japanese developers within the landscape.

The legend believes that only a handful of games manage to grab the majority of gamers’ attention:

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“It’s much more competitive now: 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.”

He also suggests that the plenthora of sequels and threequels within the industry are caused by the lack of variety in consumer demand:

“I think it’s more consumer demand – right now, consumers are happy with what they have. First-person shooters sell like crazy, so there’s not really a strong demand for anything else, and that’s why [original ideas] stop being made.

“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.”

And Mr. Kojima, what games made by you are coming out this year? Metal Gear Solid HD Collection and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D? Oh.

Source: CVG

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49 Comments

  1. Ah, but is Kojima actually involved in making the remakes? I’ve no idea, hence asking.
    Anyway, he has a point.

    • I’ve read that he’s involved with Snaker Eater 3D, no clue about HD Collection, however. But still, it’s his stuff that’s going out there to the market again though, which kinda has an impact on new ideas. From a business perspective I can see why, because people are going to buy them.

      • BluePoint games of God of War Collection fame made the HD collection rather than Kojima Productions. I’m sure he’s in the know to some extent, but not much.

  2. He’s right though- People complain about the lack of variety, but then don’t go out & buy new ip’s, instead relying on picking up the latest installment of ‘point & shoot 101’.

    I am of course a little guilty of the same thing, but at least i try to support new ip’s when they hit the market, unlike some.

    • The problem is the people complaining are still (really) the minority of gamers, people on sites like TSA etc… have come to be in the minority as gaming has expanded.

      • This is true – I suspect that it also comes down to advertising, as very little is advertised to my knowledge outside of your CoD’s & your BF (this year at least). Obviously everyone that visits here knows when stuff gets released as there are news stories about them daily/weekly/monthly (delete as appropriate), but to the general masses, their first knowledge of it (aside from most being yearly releases of course) is when that advert comes on or when they see that billboard telling them when they can spend their money.

        Or maybe on demand tv has changed my perspective of what is & isn’t advertised as i never watch them any more!

      • This is why i would love to start up my own dedicated gaming channel for all platforms, seen as the gaming industry is the biggest entertainment source right now i can’t believe know one has tapped into it yet ( not that i have seen).

        You could imagine the possibilities, live broadcasts of all the awawrd shows, behind the scenes with developers, publishers, video reviews of games, live mp tournaments and im sure the channel would get some serious return revenue from distributers advertising their games during breaks of shows.

        That’s just my pipedream.

      • @ rudeawakening
        They have, and everybody who has tried has failed. The main problem with shows about video games is there’s an incredibly small target audience, playing video games is more popular than watching a show about playing video games. That transfers over to low advertising revenue. Plus theres usually not enough video game news for a daily show, add that publishers don’t like to talk about games in early development, film and television studios don’t like video games, and the game industry unlike the film industry is pretty divided among themselves- (every publisher seems to be at war with every other publisher). But dont get discouraged, one day someone will create a show about video games that will make people take notice, sooner or later someone will bridge the gap between videos and video games, and that person could be you.

      • Gaming has expanded into bubbles. COD, FIFA, Madden, esp. Wii are examples of products where large groups of people are engaged but otherwise wouldn’t be gaming. So there’s no reason to believe that, were these annual series retired, that the same number of people would be sitting around waiting for new IP or even gaming. I think this “bubble” situation should be seen as an opportunity– there’s always room for expansion provided a new IP can create a new need.

    • Don’t get me wrong Forrest, but i can say outright that i love “FPS”, i honestly think they’re a perfect genre, i think you’ve quite enjoyed BioShock 2 as well.

      • Absolutely – I wasn’t saying there was anything wrong with FPS (which is why i mentioned i was somewhat guilty of the same thing) & if it is your thing then it is only right that you support it.

        What i don’t want to be in the situation of though is where all there is are FPS & absolutely no innovation. Just identikit sequels & remakes that add little (or just enough) each time.

        I like variety & if things look like they will be heading down the route of one genre only (because that is all that people are buying), i reckon i’ll be hanging up the controller.

      • There is variety within the genre, i couldn’t have imagined my online multiplayer experience without BioShock 2 and Crysis 2, and my single player experience without Hard Reset and Metro 2033. There’s a ton of difference, as a FPS is essentially a “life sim”, you can put all kinds of stuff in there.

      • Agreed, but at their core they are all still shooters aren’t they?

        What about Platformers? Driving games? Hack & Slash? Beat ’em ups? Sports titles? Even 3rd person shooters?

        I wouldn’t want to see any of these genres simply disappear because a developer thinks that they won’t make any money if they make that type of game.

        Granted, it’s an extreme point of view to think that they would all just suddenly disappear, but if that WAS to happen then gaming simply wouldn’t be for me anymore as i don’t want to feel as though i am staring through someone else’s eyes the whole time. Variety is key for me.

        Case in point; before this gen, i was’t a fan of FPS (i didn’t used to like the fact that stuff could be going on behind me that i had no knowledge of until it was too late). I have grown accustomed to it now & some of my favourite titles are FPS, but the fact is that even for someone like me that wasn’t into it before this gen, FPS makes up somewhere around half of my games (& that is trying to keep it somewhat balanced!). That’s current games too, not even counting those that i have traded.

        I wasn’t saying that there can’t be innovation & diversity in FPS, as there most definitely can be (Bioshock, Singularity & Bulletstorm are all good examples of this), but i wouldn’t want to see a world where every game is from the perpective of the protagonist. Hell, in some games, i don’t even want a protagonist! :)

      • Well i myself spent most of my early gaming days simply playing Quake and Quake 2, then Half-Life, C-S, etc – it wasn’t at all bad. :) Well, besides Worms and HoMM and RTS fix… It was all about FPS and strategy games for me really.

        Now i’m a console gamer and more varied and of course if you remove even one gem of a title the gaming experience would severely suffer, but playing just the FPS ain’t a bad thing. :)

        You must’ve missed my earlier point imo FPS are more than “just shooters” they are closest genre to real life simulation, see Crysis where you throw frogs, knock down trees, etc – it’s not at all just about shooting things, but rather being there, in person, and interact with the world in the most immersive way.

      • You just gotta remember that FPS were used to be much better than what they try to shove to the casual gamer now, if you’ve only met a mediocre title and think that’s what every FPS is about then i feel for you. :) Mediocrity is crossed among all genres, it’s just it feels more prominent among FPS as there are more entries (not worthy entries, mind) around. :)

    • There are some people…well most who believe if it’s not call of duty or assassins creed its crap. I know people like this. I encourage new ideas in gaming and I support new IP’s mostly eg Enslaved, Mirrors Edge, Heavy Rain.

      • Yeah, I try and encourage it too. Way too many people that only play cod and fifa. I usually try and suggest some other games. Even if it’s the orange box. Yeah, half life is still a shooter, but it’s very different in having a health bar, and much cooler enemies. Plus it doesn’t hold your hand.

  3. He doesn’t deserve flak for the re-releases, his company is just trying to stay solvent in a difficult industry. He isn’t even doing what he is criticizing, sequels being basically the same game with a few tweaks, games like MW3. It’s not as if he isn’t working on anything new.

    • Do we actually know what he’s working on? It seems he’s fairly off with Metal Gear Rising.

      • He’s working on something, no idea what, but with his track record it’s pretty safe to say it will be worth playing.

        Or was he in the planning stage for the next Metal Gear, I think he said it was going to be another prequel.

      • His waistline judging by his tweets. The man photos every meal he has.

      • Something going by the codename of Project Ogre which is open world apparently.

    • I’m actually hoping Project Orge is Zone of The Enders 3, it would be brilliant for current consoles.

      • Nope, it isn’t ZOE3. You not see the recently teased images of Project Ogre? Definitely not ZOE3.

      • I too want ZOE 3, didn’t he tease it ages back? I hope the ZOE HD Collection sells well, it might convince him that making a third game would be commercially viable.

        Come to that, why do I not remember seeing the ZOE HD Collection in TSA’s Top 100?

  4. I used to think there’s enough variety if you look for it, its just not getting bought by many. There’s been gems here and there, and i would dread to think what would gaming be without them. Probably something like PC gaming is.

  5. he’s right though, just look at last week’s sales charts.
    every game there was at least a third sequel in a series.
    some are on like their dozenth incarnation.

    of course he’s hardly leading the charge for original IPs is he?
    mind you, there is that new game he’s keeping pretty secret, that could be a new IP.

    the thing that bothers me isn’t that there are so many sequels, it’s that there are so many lazy sequels.
    some developers push their games forwards when they make sequels, like Skyrim and Saints Row the Third, maybe not always in good ways, but at least they put the effort in.

    how much content was copy and pasted from previous games in MW3?
    then there’s feature creep trying to disguise the fact this years edition is almost exactly the same as last years?

    who remembers playing the original assassin’s creed and thinking “this really needs a clumsy tower defense minigame”?
    not many i’ll bet.

    but then who thought they could turn it into an annual release?

    incidentally, did you think

    • Like Skyrim? Seriously?

      • yeah, like i said, what they brought us may not have all been improvements, but skyrim is about as far away from the identikit sequels that get shoved out every year as it’s possible to get.

        i’d rather buggy, huge, ambitious game than them spending a couple of weeks adding a new feature to last years game and selling you the same thing again for fifty quid.

        i’m exaggerating for effect here.

        whether you like the game or not, you can’t deny a hell of a lot of work was put into creating it, many years worth of it.

      • Don’t get me wrong Skyrim is awesome, but Bethesda has used some of the same dungeon textures on Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim. The same wooden doors, glowing mushrooms, armour and weapons. I remember playing Fallout 3 and looking around in a dungeon and thinking, am I still in Tamriel? The key is to add enough new content to keep you distracted from remembering that the door you just opened was the same door you opened 6 years ago.

    • ok that last bit was gonna be about something, i thought i deleted it, i might as well put it back so you know what i was on about.

      incidentally, did you think Saw 3d really was the final chapter?
      well think again.
      lionsgate are apparently planning an 8th.

      see, it was kinda related to the subject.
      but then i decided not to post it but didn’t delete it all.

      • Saw 8? Cool, love them films even though none of them have reached the tense heights of the first.

        Quick look through the film release calendar shows tens’ & ten’s of genres of films going strong whether it be M:I4 or The Artist etc… The same can’t be said for gaming which is being strangled buy all publishers wanting to copy CoD’s success by not only making their own version, but also elements of CoD ‘infecting’ unrelated games whether it be CoD-style levelling-up, forced multiplayer or whatever.

        It would be brilliant if publishers could attempt to beat CoD by doing something different & not just doing the same thing but changing the words & tweaking it slightly

      • @cc_star

        I disagree. Even when there is a movie series I like I’d prefer for the same people to create a new movie from scratch (same genre is ok). So I can watch it without knowing what to expect.

        Games have the same problem. With a sequel you kind of know what to expect. (But by all means reuse all or parts of the engine, to cut development time and costs). I’d love to have 5 good new games and 5 crap new games instead of 10 sorta-ok sequels.

      • Worse than that, Vin Diesel is working on a sixth Fast and Furious film!
        I actually liked the third one because it took the ideas and the universe that worked well but changed it up with new characters and a new location.
        Then they just churned out two more shitty sequels like the second and no doubt the sixth will be the same.

      • I thought the 5th FatF was the best yet.

      • OMG! (hate that saying but i think its appropriate here) Saw 8! How is this still been made, i thought we had moved on with the whole torture porn films.

        They should of left at the first one!

        Man i can’t believe there is going to an 8th!

      • Hate the Saw films, reaply don’t see the point in them.
        Fast and Furious is awesome though, minus the 4th, with the latest amd first being the best for me.

  6. The current financial climate has something to do with this. When a large portion of gamers are forced to purchase only a hand full of games a year due to the lack of money, and you enjoyed a previous installment of a series, you are more likely to spend money on a sequel or similar in that genre of game (FPS for example as the market has been flooded with them for years) than risk spending money on something you arnt sure you will enjoy. CoD sells well every year because it doesnt change and has a massive advertising push. People now feel comfortable with CoD. You spend £45, you get a half decent single player campaign and 5 months of multiplayer value out of it. Why risk money on Vanquish or Enslaved when your unsure if they are your cup of tea?

    • I’m going to agree with this and add in my case I will only buy 1 game new a year (last year GT5, this year Skyrim) and it is highly likely it’ll be a sequel as I don’t want to take a risk. Sometimes when its really cheap I will buy a 2nd hand game which I did for Oblivion (bought for £5) which I would NEVER have bought new in a million years.

      With 2nd hand games being slowly kicked out then the sequel will inevitably be the only game I buy…..

  7. I kinda agree with him. FPSes are popular with most gamers so, developers/publishers are more likely to do a FPS then an entire new concept that we’ve never seen before. But that is the case with any genre that is popluar. Last gen, it was fighting games(i think).

    I personally think that the market is at risk of getting flooded with too many FPSes and not enough new IPs. Also didn’t Kojima say that if he were to create MGS1 in this generation, he wouldn’t bother? :(

    Kojima could take advantage of this and do a FPS with a lot of new features in with a story that is as excellent as MGS’s is. :)

    • Or just destroy the competitan and announce Zone of the Enders 3 with revoltluanry FPS view feature, hehe

      Just noticed Firefox isn’t spell-checking? oh oh

  8. Agree totally

    What sells is what publishers will fund, hence that’s all that will be receiving the big development money.

    I’m not going to deny the quality bar was very high in 2011, but it’s one of the most disappointing years I’ve known as a gamer.

    • I’m with you on that. I actually can’t think of any original IP (not full disk anyway) in 2011.
      I mean my highlights were Portal 2, Uncharted 3, Deus Ex and AC Revelations. All great but none of them truly original.

    • Really? wow, this has been my best year of gaming since the late 90s, titles like :- Hard Reset, Nuclear Dawn, Orcs must die, Minecraft, Dungeon defenders, the utterly brilliant Binding of isaac, SW:TOR and thats forgetting a ton of games and excluding the sequels ive played this year (deus ex, portal 2 etc)

      fabulous year.

      • Oh, yes, Hard Reset. Definitely one to stay.

    • That’s cause you’re in the UK. Just wait till Catherine, Postal III and Peace Walker HD reach your part of the world.

  9. Admittedly I want to dive right into the MGS trilogy as soon as I can and Uncharted 3, Deus Ex Human Revolution were two of my personal highlights from last year. Yet this year Starhawk and Ni Nu Kuni (I think…) I am wanting.

    New I.Ps or reboots/re-imaginings are always worth the time as well as the effort. You only need to look at Vanquish, Singularity and Rayman Origins.

    • It’s Ni No Kuni. :) Something about Wrath of the White Witch, apparently.

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