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Hideo Kojima has relaunched a smaller, tighter and more efficient Kojima Productions; a studio far and away from the culture fostered at Konami. However, before the studio really gets knee-deep in their future projects, Kojima has already made it known that he wants to keep the culture small and the studio light.
Kojima explained to IGN at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada that large teams make it impossible to keep a finger on the pulse of each team member and that it can become too much to handle at times, saying:
There was a time that I had a team that was growing over 200 people, and at that point this methodology proved to be too difficult. It was impossible to be together and polish everything, […] For this new studio, I definitely want to keep the size of the team somewhat limited.
For Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain they had a rather large team working across multiple offices around the world. It was a mammoth AAA project that saw multiple teams handling things like the motion capture, the Fox Engine optimization, the core design, and a variety of teams working on the localization.
Shortly after launching Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami had announced that the Los Angeles based Kojima Productions studio would be shutting down.
Following Konami blocking Hideo Kojima from appearing at The Game Awards to receive the reward for Metal Gear Solid V, the legendary designer eventually announced his own relaunch of Kojima Productions in Tokyo, Japan. However, the Metal Gear creator says that he won't be operating the studio the way other studios have been operated in the past, explaining to IGN:
In Japanese studios, no matter what kind of game you’re developing, you get in and they all feel the same, […] It feels like tight spaces, military discipline. There are so many companies like this, previous experiences that were like this. If you want to make something that has worldwide reach and develops creativity, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Hideo Kojima explains that on his buddy-up tour throughout the Sony studios around the world, with none other than legendary designer and engineer Mark Cerny. He found the Media Molecule studio setup to be very inspirational. According to Kojima, Media Molecule's “family” setting shines through in the design of their games, and he wants to foster that kind of open, non-military setup for his relaunch of Kojima Productions.
Does this mean that Hideo Kojima will adopt a similar design methodology for the upcoming project? We have no idea. However, we do know that the project is being designed in collaboration with Sony Computer Entertainment for PlayStation platform(s).
In a way, it's a great sign that Kojima wants to keep the studio small because it keeps the bloat down; it keeps the costs down, and it allows a tighter focus on the content and the direction of said content without having too many hands in the pot. Whether or not this actually translates into a better game is something that remains to be seen, but many gamers are still hoping that Kojima can still squeeze Norman Reedus and Guillermo del Toro into the picture somehow.