Some of you may remember the article, “Hideo Kojima Unhappy With Metal Gear Solid 4“. Well word spread around the internet and other media outlets that Kojima was unhappy with the game. Kojima got wind of this and set out to make the record straight on his blog. The site is in Japanese (obviously), but we are lucky to have a member of the Playstation forums, bobamuknunbabo, translate most of it for us.
“I hate to say this myself, but I am a Japanese man, so I try to be modest or even more. I don’t wish to brag about it to say “Oh, I am the Metal Gear guy” or to say “This is the best one,” just like how Americans brag stuff like this…I do enjoy myself, but in my mind i still think insufficient of myself. That’s why I interview in Japanese, and SAI (translator) translates my side of the interviews very well in English. The West does not heavily carry the idea of modesty and I am getting criticized in the magazines/blogs. In conclusion, on my recent comment about my disappointment with MGS4, the comments derived from “MGS4, inside the biggest PS3 Game” to “Hideo disappointed with MGS4.” It was translated completely wrong due to cultural differences. There are several comments going around that are like the disappointment articles, such as the one that says “Hideo thinks the PS3 can’t not handle the GAME” or “the 50GB Blu-ray is simply not enough.” It’s funny how others think “Did Hideo really say that?” and then ask me. My answer is obviously “NO” but then, I guess I am responsible for all of the articles…”
Okay, so in that first but we learn a few things. Firstly, what Kojima originally wanted to say was lost a bit in the translation and taken the wrong way. His intent was not in saying that he was disappointed in the way the game turned out. Secondly, some people may taken his comments about Americans the wrong way (or maybe you agree with him). I advise not to take them the wrong way. The Japanese culture is very different from the American culture and the entire Western culture for that fact. His comments are his observations based through the eyes of his culture. Nothing more, nothing less.
The next section of Kojima’s comments on his blog is basically a long analogy. If you get lost, don’t worry, I will sum it up for you at the end.
“From now on, I will say what I plan to say. For example, let’s say this developer is making a new kind of a car. He claims that it can fly. Now there is no stopping when you say, “There is a car that can fly.” When you claim that it can fly, the speculation grows from “oh, so it can fly?!!!” and the developer would then set his goals higher. The specualtion is that if the car flies, then it should reach a MACH speed, but it doesn’t stop there. It’d go beyond the specualtion and then “it sholuld go into space!” With all the excitement around, the developer would go try hard making the car go into space. However, he’ll come up to the public and say the car reaches the MACH speed, but it fails to go into the space. He shouldn’t give up because for a car to even reach a mach speed and go into air is revolutionary. I wished to transfer my thoughts like such, but I guess it didn’t work very well.”
Well that was a mouthful right? Kojima is basically saying in the long drawn out way that he does that developers like himself strive to reach very lofty goals. These goals are not always attainable, but set a high standard. In the end, the product may not reach that standard due to many reasons: it not being possible (on the current software for instance). Even without reaching that goal the end product is still something to be very pleased with and to be excited over. Kojima is happy with the outcome of the game, there is no doubt in my mind if you understand what he means. Even if his analogy went over your head a bit, he then continues on and makes it pretty blunt.
“The next time I interview in America I will just say, “MGS4 is the BEST, The End.” It is shameful for a Japanese man to speak so blatantly, but if i dont, things like this can happen. MGS4 isn’t exactly my property, so i don’t have total control over it and sometimes I get confused with it. Some may be disappointed in the way I say things, but I do release the game with confidence. In fact, that’s what I have been doing, not just with this PS3 game, but my previous PS2 titles as well. I always reached for the higher goal and I try to go for it. Even in my company, I’m learning a lot about media training, but I wanted to do more than just that and here I am in this situation with the past interview. But this [like the incidents above] won’t stop me from doing more interviews, I mean its not like interviews have ratings. I wont QUIT!”
Now if there is any doubt in your mind about whether Kojima is happy with the game or not, this should hopefully settles those uneasy thoughts of yours. I never doubted that Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots would turn out to be a fantastic game and Kojima only made that more clear. After all, “MGS4 is the BEST, THE END.”