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World exclusive: CVG interviews Hideo Kojima at E3

The Metal Gear visionary on Tweet controversies, Japan's curse and his next project

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After making Metal Gear Solid 2 you said that would be your last, then also said the same after MGS3, MGS4 and so on - why do you keep coming back?Metal Gear Solid 2 was meant to be my last Metal Gear before I handed it off to the team, and the team did actually start working on MGS3, but unfortunately there were problems and it didn't go well, so I was forced to come back and work on it. When it came to MGS4, I said OK this time for sure I'm not getting involved so I really handed it off. Because I set two different directors working on it I was sure I wouldn't have to get involved, but there was a difference in expectations of what I felt that Metal Gear should be. It's very hard to come up with the concept of a game and hand it off to other people, as of course they can't see what's in my head. They may not be able to understand the concept completely or the messages that I want to convey and that's where things went awry in the past as people couldn't really understand what I wanted. I decided at that point that if I was going to make a game based around these ideals that I would do it myself, which is why I keep getting involved.

Do you think that the current trend for social games is a danger to the more old school type games?I don't think that they're that separate, both social games and hardcore games will evolve together, and at some point I feel the social side of things will converge with the core games. I think in the future maybe Metal Gear will change in certain ways to integrate social aspects. If you look at other games on the market now you can see it's already happening, so Metal Gear may at some point get involved. I have a lot of ideas on how social aspects can make Metal Gear more fun but I can't talk about that today. The goal is not to say social or core, it's using social to integrate different core groups, so you have the core audience but then, via social methods, hardcore gamers can interact with less hardcore players.

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You've given us many clues about Project Ogre - is there anything you can share with us today and when might we expect to learn more?One thing that I can say is that Project Ogre is evolving alongside the Fox Engine. The Fox Engine is at the point now where it is pretty much ready to start making a game, so rather than releasing a sample image of, say, our meeting room, what will be the next sample you see from Fox Engine will be something from Project Ogre.

We studied a year of your tweets to construct a theory about the next Metal Gear Solid - how does it make you feel when you see that sort of theory compiled, and have you readied anything that feels close to what we dug up? Perhaps you've tweeted something and then regretted it because you said too much!Honestly, I don't really pay too much attention to the theories out there. What I can say though is that I do love to tread that line and give something extra to the fans - but I do get yelled at by the company!

Over time the Metal Gear games have become more and more action based. The first one was really stealthy, the second one had stealth with a little more action, and now we have Metal Gear Rising Revengeance which is all about action. Will this lead to the next Metal Gear Solid being more action focused or will we see a return to more stealth?I don't want to feel owned by labels - it's not whether it's going to be stealth or whether it's going to be action. What I want to accomplish is to give players the ability to play the way they want to play. If they were actually put in that situation, I want to give them the freedom to do what they want to.

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What do you think of the Japanese market compared to the European and North American industry?One thing about Japan, and this isn't just games, is that things made in Japan are very much targeted at Japan, whether it's games, movies or novels. The curse in Japan is that a lot of media is made in Japan just for Japan - you go to the cinema and it's all Japanese movies. My generation is now being exposed to a wide range of influences, that's why what I want to make is a little bit more in tune with what people in the West will like. I really like all the things that are being made in the West. When I come to shows like E3 and see the announcements and go to Comic-Con, I love all of the presentations, so really I've been thinking maybe I was born in the wrong country!

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