With the new Kojima Production Studio officially unveiled in Los Angeles, Hideo Kojima is now positioned to create the type of content he has envisioned for years: Film quality video games. Stationed in the heart of the movie industry, the L.A. studio has convenient access to western talent. This move, by design - aims to strengthen the bridge between interactive entertainment and film.
“Now that we’ve transitioned from the analog stage to the digital, it really gives the possibility for the game industry and the film industry to interact,” Kojima told press in a Q&A session. “And that is one of the reasons why we opened another base here in L.A.”
Case in point: Kiefer Sutherland (Phone Booth, 24) as Solid Snake. Considering the Golden Globe winning actor’s prolific career, which includes a $40 million contract with FOX for the hit TV series - 24, casting Sutherland for MGS5 does not come cheap. More importantly, its reflective of Konami’s video game/Hollywood fusion.
As far as a film adaptation goes, a MGS movie was confirmed last August at the Metal Gear Solid 25th Anniversary event in Tokyo; with Kojima slated to serve as creative consultant. And while the Konami director assured press the project was still in the pipeline, presently, the team is focused on development for MGS5.
Speaking of the game, its prologue, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes was presented to press during a special gameplay screening at the L.A. studio’s in-house theater. Like its predecessors, the title is cinematic in presentation and cinematography. Despite the title’s impressive showing, its film attributes came as no surprise. MGS’s movie-like characteristics have been an ongoing theme for the famed franchise; improving with each successive entry. Never the less the series has never looked better.
“Personally, I've liked Los Angeles since I was a little kid," Kojima said. "Everything is top-notch here.” The game studio itself is sleek, modern, and spacious - complete with state of art, audio and filming equipment. We’re told the site also served as one of Howard Hughes’s former residences. It doesn’t get more iconic than that. Looking ahead, as the similarities between video games and film mount - cost, appearance, and process - to name a few, so does the collaboration. Games have sought out Hollywood resources for years and with video game sales increasing, including continued record sales from blockbuster titles, GTAV being the most recent, the industry has the budget to afford premier writers, composers and voice talent. Not to mention the benefits animation, voice acting, game-to-film adaptation, and motion capture stand to receive from growing partnerships.
Time will tell how Kojima and Konami’s new studio will further improve game development and Hollywood alliances; including the MGS film, but that’s further down the road. As for Snake’s newest game, we can attest to an ambitious effort set to literally open the playing field of the Metal Gear universe. How tablets and smartphones will be implemented into the gameplay remains to be seen, but user generated levels has us salivating at the possibilities.
Metal Gear Solid 5 is set to release sometime in 2014 on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A PC version is being considered.