Left Alive -- Square Enix Explains How Metal Gear Solid Artist Yoji Shinkawa Was Recruited for the Game

Left Alive features character design by legendary Metal Gear Solid artist Yoji Shinkawa. Producer Shinji Hashimoto explains how it happened.

One of the most interesting aspects of Square Enix’s Left Alive is the character design by one of the most popular artists in Japanese games, Yoji Shinkawa, well known for the Metal Gear Solid series.

At Gamescom 2018 in Cologne, DualShockers had a chat with legendary Producer Shinji Hashimoto, who explained how this dream partnership with Kojima Production’s artist happened.

“I’ve known Kojima-san for quite a while now, we’re of similar age, and I’ve been speaking to him for a long time. I think it’s been over ten years, and he is someone I respect a lot in the industry. Besides games, I’ve also been in charge of Square Enix’s merchandising division as well. I’m not involved in that at the moment, but I have been looking after our action figures for a long time.

In addition to doing things for our own properties like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest, we also do some second-party figures. If there is a series that there has good characters out there, we want to help make them. We’ve done a lot of Metal Gear Solid figures, and obviously as part of that we have worked with Kojima-san and Yoji Shinkawa himself for quite a while. I’ve built a relationship and trust with them.

When they went out on their own, we spoke, and I asked “if you’ve got time and you’re free, maybe we can do something together.” Of course coming with a sudden proposition and asking him to work on a game stright away would have been difficult, but since we had a long relationship going, it was actually easy to do. Timing worked out very well.”

I also asked Hashimoto-san if he has thought about trying to involve Hideo Kojima himself as well. While he mentioned that the Creator of Metal Gear Solid is probably way too busy with Death Stranding at the moment, he didn’t close the door to the possibility of collaborating in the future.

“He’s very busy with his own game at the moment. I don’t think he’d have time to work on other projects. But like I said, we have a very good relationship with him, and maybe we could discuss something in the future.”

Left Alive still doesn’t have a firm release date, but it will come for PlayStation 4 and PC (via Steam). If you want to learn more about the game, you can check out the most recent screenshots and details from Gamescom 2018an earlier batch of screenshotsthe original teaser trailer and the first full trailer with a glimpse of gameplay from last year.

The game can already be pre-ordered for PS4 on Amazon.

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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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