E3 2013: Hideo Kojima Feels He Needs to Do Better on Metal Gear Solid V After Seeing Ubisoft's The Division

June 13, 2013

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is well known for looking with a keen eye to the western gaming industry, and apparently he has been watching quite attentively even at E3, as he expressed in an interview published today on the Japanese website 4Gamer while talking about the reception in the west for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

I thought it received a good reaction, but after seeing Ubisoft’s [TomClancy’s] The Division I felt I have to work harder. At E3 we’re fighting against the powerhouses of the whole world. At one time I thought I managed to win that battle with Metal Gear Solid 3. For that reason we gave ourselves the objective to “win the world once more” with Metal Gear Solid V. The V in the title is the V for victory.

In addition to that, besides other things that were previously mentioned, Kojima shared some details about the reasons behind the choice of setting for the game in Afghanistan in 1984 and on other, different locales we can expect.

 Since making Metal Gear Solid 3 I always wanted to make a game about the history of this era. In addition to that, 1984 is also the title of a novel by George Orwell and Metal Gear Solid V includes Orwellian themes.  

Metal Gear Solid 3 was set in 1964, Peace Walker in 1974 and Metal Gear Solid V in 1984. We’re going in increments of ten years. It’s a balance, since teenagers nowadays weren’t yet born in 1984, but it’s not too old. That said, you can expect other settings, not just Afghanistan.

Finally, he shared more details on how stealth will work in the open world of the game:

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Stealth in Metal Gear Solid V is very realistic. It’s not just a matter of following the rules of the game anymore. You can decide to just walk to your destination or ride a car. There are less sentries during the night, but you’ll be easy to spot if you turn on the headlights. Of course there are a lot more sentries during the day.

I think the definition of “real stealth simulator” is appropriate. Previously when the game was on rails players knew what to expect, because designers just put an explosion there, a collapsing wall there…It was like a haunted house.

Now weather and time will change. I wanted to make this game allowing a million of different players to play in a million of different ways.

While I’m excited like basically everyone else about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I have to say that I wish Kojima-san just did what he knows how do best without trying to look at the western game industry too much. Our industry already lacks diversity as it is.

If looking towards the west will just be a further spur to do better, then I sure won’t complain, but I seriously hope he’ll keep incoming influences to a minimum.


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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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