Freedom fighter Hideo Kojima's star turn at the DICE Summit in Las Vegas yesterday brought with it a few choice comments about the Metal Gear creator's current Konami-less situation - and his plan for the future.
After Konami blocked Kojima from attending The Game Awards last year, the freshly-bearded Kojima took to the DICE stage alongside fellow film-maker Guillermo del Toro to chat about this and that - but definitely not Konami. At least not directly. (You can watch the whole thing in the video, below.)
Kojima said he feels "extremely free" in his new studio. Kojima, remember, is staffing up for a big new video game for Sony after leaving the Konami factory.
"I feel extremely free right now. I am trying to make a big game with a very small team. I am doing exactly what I want to do," Kojima said through a translator about his new Kojima Studios company.
"I have no intention of changing anything in order make it sell more. I want to create something that I want to play."
Coinciding with Kojima's DICE show was the publication of a few interviews on video game websites.
"I want to do something that gives a lot of freedom and interactivity," Kojima told GameSpot.
"Like I did in the past, I want to make something that has a very strong, dramatic story. That's what people want from me and that's what I want to do. It would be so much easier if I could give priority to one or the other, but people expect both from me. At this point, it would be easier to make a linear game, but that's not...
"It's risky, because we're just starting up, so it probably would be better to go with something smaller-scale, maybe linear, but Sony is supporting us to make a big game that's edgy with a strong story that gives the player a lot of freedom, with new elements, and I don't know if that's possible. But we'll see."
Remember P.T., the precursor to the new Silent Hill game Kojima was working on with del Toro and The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus before Konami pulled the plug? In an interview with Polygon, Kojima used metaphor to describe how he felt about the horror demo and Silent Hills' cancellation.
Let's say you're thinking of climbing Mount Everest, but you start with Mount Fuji first. That goes well and it feels good. Then you're preparing to climb Mount Everest and you're not allowed to.
That doesn't feel good.
One rumour swirling around about Kojima's exit from Konami is that it was prompted in part by the superstar creator's games simply costing the company too much money and taking too long to develop. And for Konami, a publisher stepping away from triple-A console development and stepping toward gyms, Metal Gear Solid 5 was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Kojima countered this suggestion in his interview with GameSpot, saying he's up-front about his projects before work begins.
A lot of people say that I spent too much money or take too much time, but that's a misconception. My last project was late about five or six months, but I've always kept my word on timelines and budget. For example, I do take three to four years to make games, but that's the plan from the start.
I take a lot of time because I create my own teasers, posters, and I work on how to create the box for sales. Japanese creators are famous for being loose with schedules, and I think people put me in that category, but it's not reality. In my case, I'm a director and a producer, so I have to stay aware of production and the budget.
Brace yourselves, Sony!