GDC: Hideo Kojima Keynote Finished

Hideo Kojima delivered his GDC keynote this afternoon, and we reported live from the event on this page.

It was the Metal Gear Solid creator's first time talking at the San Francisco event, but his nerves were absent and his message clear: "90 per cent of what is considered impossible is, in fact, possible."

Read on for the full transcript, the earliest post of which is presented first.

Latest comments  (46)


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  • Knot 9 years ago

    Whoa. so much MGS love here. ...Not. ( Why the fuck is everyone forgetting MGS3 Subsistence only to nitpick on MGS2's cutscenes !? MGS3 Subsistence was perhaps the best balanced MGS game ever ).

    Pretty good keynote I guess. It's clear Kojima realizes Japanese devs will have to do a bit catching up on the technical side of development. (free motion animation, ingame physics and such..)

    Other than that ; stealth gaming (should be) is no less important, with the occasional cutscene to drive it forward. Regardless of the particular MGS storyline.
  • Martin85 9 years ago

    So Metal Gear was born because of the MSX2's shortcomings? Interesting.
  • Collymilad 9 years ago

    "Let's join together and make the impossible possible. I want to make great games with everyone."

    Ah right that's why MGS4 is multip...oh wait.

  • HermitArcader 9 years ago

    I can understand why people didn't laugh at his cut scene jokes until prompted, they just became far too awful to even laugh at, shark jumping not once but dozens of times from MGS2 onwards yet many sfan such as myself still stuck with them, knowing there was a good game lurking underneath, but MGS4 really was the final straw for me.
  • 3william56 9 years ago


    Sorry - had to.

    Yeah, Oli is a sarky git but that was pretty funny. Can we please get this uberpowerpoint posted on the net? I reckon it will liven up my next project meeting no end.

    So in summary, MGS is a sequel to the original Snake game as featured on my digital TV box. Obvious, really.

    @notmyrealname - if you hate MGS4 so much (and it's pretty much the same as the previous ones) why do you keep buying them? Sort of daft, really.
  • El-Dev 9 years ago

    The Czech's and the Irish laugh at the Brit's drinking capability and evreyone still agrees that Hideo's next game will be multi-platform!

    It's not over until you hear "Here's to you".
  • ronuds 9 years ago


    Of everything he said, the only piece of anyone found worth repeating was that he may have hinted at another MGS.
  • metallicorphan 9 years ago

    "Let's join together and make the impossible possible. I want to make great games with everyone."

    hmmm...multiformat from now on?
  • Raziel 9 years ago

    Did he just confirm MGS 5?
  • ronuds 9 years ago

    My mistake - thought it was over when they said "mission complete".

    I revamp my comment to say, "I honestly don't understand what the point was of anything he said....up to now?"
  • Santino 9 years ago

    basically he wants a machine so powerful that he doesnt have to worry about using good game design to make the ultimate stealth game, sony keep lying to him about the power of their consoles but he falls for it and jumps into bed with them each and every time and gets dissappointed. that is about it i think
  • ronuds 9 years ago

    I honestly don't understand what the point was of anything he said?
  • Chufty 9 years ago

    grep solves all arguments.
  • Wastelander 9 years ago

    Yeah, I'm liking this. It's a proper interesting dev keynote. Kojima seems cool.
  • smelly 9 years ago

    >especially when compared to yesterday's back patting session by Iwata.

    Like the bit where he showed the process of how they create games?
    Or the bit where he tried to disprove the myth to developers that only 1st party games sell on the wii?

    Both are quite relevant for a developer keynote i wouldve thought.
  • monkeylite 9 years ago

    Sounds like a proper developer keynote, especially when compared to yesterday's back patting session by Iwata.
  • dopeonthetable 9 years ago

    I disagree I disagree, this speech is very un-dude. Metaphors are such a strain! Why can't he just talk about the thing in question? Is this meant to be for three year olds? Is anyone "really glad they went to Kojima's keynote" because they "learnt so much"? Okay, no one has said this, yes, yes, but come on! Game development is sort of like an onion. It is has many layers. You need to let it grow. It needs nutrients. These are playstations. It needs water. Water is the love of a good woman. You need soil. This represents the market. ET CETERA. Boo to Kojima!
  • miiiguel 9 years ago

    # cat "Hide Keynote" | egrep -i "xbox|360" | wc -w
    # 43245235

    Give it a rest with the 360 thing. Chill.
    Damn box is present in every single thread.
  • NewbieZilla 9 years ago

    " Oli will love the MGS series when it gets to the 360 "

    No, no. Oli will love MGS as soon as its changed into an MMO.
  • DFawkes 9 years ago

    "Cut-scenes"! Does it count if Ollie says it, in a vaguely condecending manor?

  • Chufty 9 years ago

    Oli will love the MGS series when it gets to the 360
  • NewbieZilla 9 years ago

    Olis love of the MGS series is soaking through, isn't it?
  • stevetuck 9 years ago

    sounds like an exciting interview... wonder if it will be 10% interview and 90% cutscene? :p
  • Wastelander 9 years ago

    This is a pretty cool keynote!
  • Chufty 9 years ago

    I think that counts as a drink
  • Lebowski 9 years ago

    15 minutes to say nothing much at all. Quite fast for MGS, then.
  • Chufty 9 years ago

    Your auto-refresh doesn't work in Opera any more. Fortunately, Opera has a built in auto-refresh, so it's cool. But still, it used to work!
  • coolbritannia 9 years ago

    360 release or not, I'll still think he's a hack. I hate MGS.
  • smelly 9 years ago


    He'll announce MGS4 for the 360.. and all of a sudden all the 360 owners who've been posting telling everyone how they think MGS is shit - will suddenly start masturbating furiously at the prospect of playing the game they secretly wanted all along.
  • yupyup 9 years ago

    It's those pesky pregnant teens getting drunk off half a bacardi breezer who are letting the side down.
  • Gazza_UK 9 years ago

  • El-Dev 9 years ago

    Or we could play one pint for every 1,000 xboxes that got a RROD. I fear this could create a hell of a lot of drinking problems though. That would be a better drinking game...well unless your English, it's scientifically proven they can't drink for shit.
  • mingster 9 years ago

    Hideo is a n۝۝b
  • Thunderbolt 9 years ago

    Carrying on with 'Pac-man ate my wife' drinking game yesterday, can I suggest the following:

    /plays comment drinking game
    /1 finger of beer for each use of 'cut-scene'
    /1 shot for each time 'the power of the cell and blu-ray''
    /double shot for 'only possible on PS3'

Our live coverage has now ended. Here's what you missed: Updating...

17:25 By Robert Purchese

Good morning/afternoon from GDC! It's another perfect day here - San Francisco doesn't seem to do bad weather.

17:26 By Robert Purchese

There wasn't anything like the huge queue that there was for yesterday's Nintendo keynote, but the huge Esplanade Room is filling up fast.

17:27 By Robert Purchese

We've got front-row seats again, and there's a hum of anticipation in here, even though we've heard there'll be no new game announcements. It must be the Kojima Effect.

17:28 By Robert Purchese

We can spot Suda 51 sat just over to our left - officially Japan's nicest videogame developer (and that takes some doing). Also the coolest. Only Suda could rock a black-and-white newsprint hoodie in his 40s and pull it off.

17:29 By Robert Purchese

It's all Daft Punk and Gorillaz and sunglasses on heads in here. Not as many suits about as for Iwata yesterday.

17:31 By Robert Purchese

The lights are coming down and GDC director Meggan is on stage introducing the keynote. Kojima is "renowned as one of the most influential videogame developers in the world".

17:32 By Robert Purchese

Here he is! Dressed only as a rock star Japanese developer does - satin jacket and black-and-white spec frames.

17:33 By Robert Purchese

He's talking in Japanese through an interpreter over the PA, and thanking everyone for the Lifetime Achievement award he picked up last night.

17:33 By Robert Purchese

He jokes that he came because E3 has lost its punch over the years - and because they said they'd give him an award if he came.

17:34 By Robert Purchese

It's his first time at GDC - he reckons "the atmosphere is really hot".

17:35 By Robert Purchese

He's not going to talk about the technical side of game design - it's more about his philosophy of game creation. He promises entertainment - but no free games as presents. Boo!

17:36 By Robert Purchese

He asked a couple of his friends what GDC was like. He was told that people leave boring sessions after 10 minutes, but there's nothing else going on right now, so we're stuck with him.

17:37 By Robert Purchese

On with the presentation. He defines Revolutionary Creation as doing something nobody has done before - making the impossible possible (which is the title of his keynote).

17:38 By Robert Purchese

It's a path - with a 2D black-and-white snake walking along it. Obviously. Sometimes you face little obstacles (a black box on the screen).

17:38 By Robert Purchese

Snake vaults over it, and here comes a little 8-bit Mario, who jumps over with ease.

17:39 By Robert Purchese

Now there's a huge wall. Snake can't make it. Mario comes along, turns into Super Mario and leaps over, much to Snake's dismay.

17:39 By Robert Purchese

Snake thinks, he's not Mario and he can't jump over. Poor Snake.

17:47 By Robert Purchese

Anything he's done before, he thinks is possible. Anything he's never done before, he thinks is impossible. It's only in his mind.

17:40 By Robert Purchese

Kojima thinks it's all about changing your preconceptions. Snake's stereotype is that he thinks he can't jump over - but we need to change visions.

17:41 By Robert Purchese

Snake thinks of new ideas. Why not pole vault over the wall? Destroy it with a gun? Or fly over with a balloon? Or suddenly find a cartoon door in it? Or flood one side with water and float over?

17:43 By Robert Purchese

But when you change the camera to a 3D view, you see that maybe you could walk around the wall, or dig underneath it. Making the impossible possible is changing your view, coming up with new ideas.

17:43 By Robert Purchese

Kojima is clearly going for the world record in GDC keynote extended metaphors here. Iwata just doesn't have this kind of game.

17:44 By Robert Purchese

The ground under the wall is hardware and technology. Software technology is a box that Snake can stand on to help him over. But it's still not enough - he needs a ladder to make the last few metres. That's game design.

17:45 By Robert Purchese

Enough with the abstraction. We're now reminiscing about Kojima's first game - Metal Gear. The time is 1985 - when the MSX 2 was released, at the same time as the boom of the NES.

17:46 By Robert Purchese

He joined the industry the following year, '86, and was given a mission - create a combat game for the MSX 2. The reason for it was the phenomenon of Rambo, and the coin-op games based on it.

17:47 By Robert Purchese

What was a combat game back then? 2D, with a human player character, and enemies - at least four. And bullets!

17:48 By Robert Purchese

All this is rendered in animated sprites on the screen. Even in PowerPoint, Kojima's production values are through the roof.

17:49 By Robert Purchese

To demonstrate the level of technology at the time, he's showing screens of an old side-scrolling shoot-em-up called Nemesis. He's explaining the concept of backgrounds and sprites for the young-uns attending.

17:50 By Robert Purchese

You could only show eight sprites. He thinks we must be pretty glad we weren't born back then.

17:51 By Robert Purchese

There's a little bit of footage of Nemesis - he's showing how some sprites blink in and out. "This is the actual product - it's not a bug." The ninth sprite on screen would always disappear.

17:53 By Robert Purchese

With MSX 2, he explains, you could do four colours in one line if you layered the sprites. But now he's used up six sprites just to draw the player and two enemies. Any more than two bullets and they would start to disappear. So Kojima thought that creating a combat game for the MSX 2 was totally impossible.

17:54 By Robert Purchese

A change in expression was necessary. The first idea he came up with was a combat game without fighting. Of course, that wouldn't sell.

17:54 By Robert Purchese

So he thought about a combat game about escaping - just running around. "I thought that was totally uncool."

17:55 By Robert Purchese

So how about hiding and sneaking? "Oh, this could work. This could be revolutionary, I thought."

17:55 By Robert Purchese

But he needed to add another idea because it didn't seem heroic enough for the trend at the time. He needed to add another idea - infiltration.

17:56 By Robert Purchese

He needed to add more tension for the players, so he added a story and a detailed world. The stealth game genre was born. All to save on sprites.

17:57 By Robert Purchese

So the impossible mission (create a combat game) becomes a different mission (create a stealth game).

17:58 By Robert Purchese

He's explaining the top-down design of Metal Gear - mazes, enemies with sight lines, screens that don't scroll. It was almost like a puzzle-action game.

17:59 By Robert Purchese

That was Metal Gear. It was never released in the US. "You might know the NES version, but that was a crap game, because I didn't work on it."

18:01 By Robert Purchese

Back to the wall metaphor. This one will run and run. The stealth game design was the ladder that got him over the wall, i.e. the mission; create a stealth game. "I think I completed the mission." Metal Gear became a hit, and they started on a sequel.

18:02 By Robert Purchese

Their next mission was to create a stealth game on the next gaming platform that exceeded the first, and that was a deeper game. That was a mission they set themselves.

18:03 By Robert Purchese

The wall rose, but the ground didn't - there was no new hardware. He had to create a deeper game without that advantage. The result was Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake.

18:03 By Robert Purchese

To make the game deeper, he expanded the enemy's line of sight to a wider cone, and expanded the field of play to make it less like a puzzle game. You'd have to think about enemies outside of the screen.

18:04 By Robert Purchese

Since there was no scrolling, he created the radar, so players could track enemies across the whole level. He thought that was quite a nice idea, if he says so himself.

18:05 By Robert Purchese

Uh oh - a technical problem. Kojima's million-dollar PowerPoint is going backwards. "Please don't post this on YouTube, okay?"

18:06 By Robert Purchese

We're back on track. He's saying that he also added an Evasion phase, and hearing to the enemies, bringing more rhythm to the hide and seek, and more tension for the player.

18:06 By Robert Purchese

So that was Metal Gear 2, only released in Japan. There was another "crap" NES one that he didn't do.

18:08 By Robert Purchese

So once again, the game design was the ladder that got him all the way over the "wall": create a deeper stealth game.

18:09 By Robert Purchese

MISSION COMPLETE. Well done, Hideo.

18:09 By Robert Purchese

Here's mission three: create a 3D stealth game for the MSX 2. Now that really is ambition.

18:10 By Robert Purchese

He thought it would be more fun to change the camera to a first-person view. We're back to the 3D path. Snake's facing a huge wall with like two steps in it. We're losing him, frankly. This metaphor is like one of his cut-scenes.

18:11 By Robert Purchese

There was "a big incident" though - in 1994, PlayStation was released.

18:12 By Robert Purchese

The hardware elevated Snake! The ground went up. Ellie: "This is better than the DEATH SPIRAL!"

18:13 By Robert Purchese

So Kojima changed his mission. Create a stealth game for the PlayStation. He went on to create Metal Gear Solid. There is some polite whooping.

18:14 By Robert Purchese

He's explaining the game design of MGS. This PowerPoint has first-person and isometric views. It's got a bigger development budget than most iPhone games.

18:15 By Robert Purchese

Kojima's talking about the long localisation process for Europe, and playing audio clips in six languages. David Hayter's unmistakable rasp is playing on the PA.

18:17 By Robert Purchese

Japanese, German - "sounds like I want to eat some sausages!", Italian - "I feel like I want to eat some pasta", Spanish - "it's very passionate isn't it?"

18:17 By Robert Purchese

Last but not least - the French version. "It feels romantic!" The crowd's lapping up this casual stereotyping.

18:18 By Robert Purchese

Back to some game footage. Real-time cut-scenes and camera changes for the first time.

18:19 By Robert Purchese

Snake has clambered over the wall, which is now a complex kind of 3D ziggurat of metaphorical challenges. We have no idea what's going on.

18:20 By Robert Purchese

I added cut-scenes. "I guess these are not popular now, these famous cut-scenes."

18:20 By Robert Purchese


18:21 By Robert Purchese

Let's take a break. We're going to watch a Japanese TV advert for MGS. It's got some robotic Japanese chicks talking in unison. Weird.

18:21 By Robert Purchese

A huge worldwide hit! Let's make a sequel - so we need a new mission.

18:22 By Robert Purchese

A realistic-looking stealth game. Mission impossible, right? But PS2 came along, and the emotion engine, so everything's going to be OK.

18:22 By Robert Purchese

Uh-oh - the ground under Snake didn't rise as much as we thought. Damn those Sony lies.

18:24 By Robert Purchese

So we've changed the mission - create a more immersive stealth game. Voila: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty.

18:24 By Robert Purchese

Kojima's explaining the game design again. The PowerPoint now has weather effects.

18:26 By Robert Purchese

Game footage is being shown: 60 frames per second, motion capture, long cut-scenes. "I believe that some of you didn't like these." Silence. "You're supposed to laugh at this point." We do - we're polite, and he's nice.

18:27 By Robert Purchese

He's talking about all the new actions, the deeper use of the environment, location damage, first-person action view - these make the ladder that got him to the immersive stealth game he was after.

18:27 By Robert Purchese


18:28 By Robert Purchese

More commercials!

18:28 By Robert Purchese

There's a businessman hiding in office toilets, cupboards and drawers. It's properly funny, actually.

18:29 By Robert Purchese

New mission: complete a stealth game that surpasses the previous one on a new platform. But as with MSX 2, the new hardware doesn't arrive - the ground under poor old Snake doesn't move.

18:30 By Robert Purchese

How can we advance what we've done using nothing but software and game design? By changing the environment.

18:32 By Robert Purchese

There's a chart showing how the series was always set in closed, artificial environments (Shadow Moses, the tanker). The opportunity is to break out into open, natural environments.

18:33 By Robert Purchese

It's not just the game design ladder this time. They remade their 3D engine to cope with the natural environment, bringing Snake the mighty box of software technology to stand on. It's brought along by Otacon, for some reason.

18:35 By Robert Purchese

So we get Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Kojima's explaining the camouflage and survival elements of the game design with his king of PowerPoints. It's got a nice wood effect now.

18:35 By Robert Purchese

Tom says: "Otacon is the man!"

18:36 By Robert Purchese

More self-effacing gags about cut-scenes, and we're into some MGS3 gameplay footage. CQC (close quarters combat) was added because it's not always easy to fire guns in the jungle.

18:37 By Robert Purchese

The concept of the game design was "infiltration in a natural environment". The box and the ladder get us over. MISSION COMPLETE

18:38 By Robert Purchese

TV commercial time again. The MGS2 businessman's in the jungle, fighting snakes off with an umbrella and doing his ironing. Why don't we get game ads like this?

18:39 By Robert Purchese

"Although the series was a hit, I always said that I wanted to end Metal Gear's saga as a trilogy." But the world wanted a sequel. "So I came up with a plan - why don't I make the ultimate stealth game? Then I won't have to make Metal Gear Solid any more."

18:41 By Robert Purchese

It's 2005 and Kojima hears a rumour of a monster gaming hardware that's so good you don't even need use a game design. A new mission: create the ultimate stealth game using the rumoured power of the ultimate gaming machine that doesn't exist yet so I don't have to make Metal Gear Solid ever again.

18:42 By Robert Purchese

The machine, of course, was the PS3. The wall is impossibly high, but the ground soars up to meet it - and then drops halfway back down again. Snake clings to the ledge but falls back down.

18:43 By Robert Purchese

New mission: use the ACTUAL power of the PS3 to create the ultimate stealth game. No, wait: a new infiltration experience.

18:44 By Robert Purchese

The game design is to create an infiltration game in a warzone, where you can fight both sides or neither. Massive gun battles rage on the PowerPoint.

18:45 By Robert Purchese

Presto, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, released last year. 8/10

18:46 By Robert Purchese

"It's a monster machine, so the cut-scenes are monstrous as well, okay? You're supposed to laugh even more, come on, I'm talking about my cut-scenes!"

18:47 By Robert Purchese

He's showing some footage of the first level, with Snake deciding to fight the militia as well, and them turning against him. The concept was infiltration into a "situation" - it's not about the place any more, it's about the situation.

18:48 By Robert Purchese

MISSION COMPLETE. We're rewarded with a TV ad. A young man decides to play MGS4 rather than marry his girlfriend.

18:52 By Robert Purchese

Kojima's riding his metaphor all the way to the moon now. Ladders, boxes, isometric paths with multiple steps. Looks like it might be quite a good game, actually.

18:51 By Robert Purchese

He's zoomed out to show the whole journey of Metal Gear up this path. Remember the first mission? If he'd given up, there wouldn't be any Metal Gear Solid - or Splinter Cell, for that matter.

18:51 By Robert Purchese

It was because of design responses to hardware restrictions that Metal Gear came to be.

18:51 By Robert Purchese

Hideo Kojima's philosophy is of designer-driven game design. Anyone who's over 40 years old is like this, probably.

18:53 By Robert Purchese

Especially Japanese game designers are like this, he thinks. It's the traditional way of making games. But now there's a different trend - more reliant on the software technology, as was the case with Metal Gear Solid 3.

18:54 By Robert Purchese

This technology-based game design is used in American and European game development studios, he realised recently. It uses open-world game design where you can run anywhere without loading, ride any vehicle, destroy any building.

18:55 By Robert Purchese

He wants to use both software and design to vault up a high, high wall, now. That's his vision for the next mission: the next MGS.

18:56 By Robert Purchese

Developers who think Kojima is old-school with his game design ladder and want to challenge that with software technology are welcome to come and talk to Kojima Productions and do that. They're recruiting.

18:57 By Robert Purchese

Summing-up time. By overcoming yesterday's impossibilities, they become today's possibilities. Nothing is impossible.

18:58 By Robert Purchese

"90 per cent of what is considered impossible is, in fact, possible. The other 10 per cent will become possible with the passage of time and technology."

18:59 By Robert Purchese

"Let's join together and make the impossible possible. I want to make great games with everyone."

18:59 By Robert Purchese

And amazing PowerPoints. Thanks, Snake. Thanks, Mario.

19:00 By Robert Purchese

It's all over. Warm applause from the GDC audience, thumping Britney on the PA.

19:02 By Robert Purchese

Thanks for staying with us and stay tuned for more from GDC.