Kojima: Resurrecting Snake for Fan Service


Speaking from extremely limited personal experience, I can say that the tug-of-war between fans and creators is often a tricky thing. While content producers don’t want to lose their audience through unpopular choices, they want the creative fulfillment of making their own way. Likewise, fans have certain expectations, yet need the creator to do what originally drew the fans to the creator’s work to begin with.

Enter Hideo Kojima. To say that this guy has been all over the map creatively is an understatement. From entry to entry in the Metal Gear Solid series, the games tones and even main characters have shifted wildly. On top of that, the guy seems to second guess himself after each new title, saying he’ll never make another one.

While this was the full intent with Metal Gear Solid 4, he’s already saying that Metal Gear Solid 5 will probably happen. In a recent interview with the Official Playstation Magazine, he talks about his original vision for Snake and how other voices changed that:

“Actually, I wanted to end it at every step along the way… In Guns Of The Patriots he was supposed to die. Everyone on the staff really wanted to keep him alive, so I caved a little. I’m a creator at heart, but at the same time I also have to manage the business aspect of it, figure out how to sell the game. I’m still trying to find that balance – it’s very delicate. How do you put in enough to make sure it sells, while remaining true to your vision?”

I’m sure this is the struggle that filmmakers and game producers constantly deal with. As much as these entertainment mediums qualify as art, there is an aspect to them that requires them to be a product as well. So what do you guys think of this idea? Do you think that more creators like this need to stick to their vision, or are you OK with them tweaking it in order to keep pumping out new iterations? Go!

Source – Official Playstation Magazine

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

2 thoughts on “Kojima: Resurrecting Snake for Fan Service”

  1. For a video game developer, the balance between maintaining one’s original vision while appeasing the publisher & fans is like the balance between work and family. It’s the asymptote toward which one must strive, despite the balance never being perfect.
    Being able to assuage fans’ complaints keeps the fanbase, and thus market, happy and willing to buy, which publishers will love to see when the developer company begins new projects.
    Being able to maintain one’s original vision for a game makes the game more genuine, more unique. It’ll help the game stand-out. Trying to pander to fans or the lowest common denominator makes the game turn into a boring mess.
    One must be ready to admit that one’s own vision for a game isn’t always what’s best for the game, since it is inherently a team effort within the developer and with the game community. However, one must also remember that the community is purchasing your own, unique creation, and presenting them a confidently-constructed game will be more satisfying than a jumble of safe cliches.

  2. Any creative project (movies, TV shows, video games), when finished, will always leave someone unhappy with the ending. The best productions owed much of their mass appeal to the hard criticism of their own creators.

    When your toughest critic is yourself, it’s not unreasonable to assume the finished product will be high in quality.

    Still, creators need to trust the marketing team when it comes to making the game popular. When a creator goes too far and makes their iconic vision of a great video game, it might not appeal to the lowest common denominator, but will appeal the the smallest. The end results are visionary games that are marketing failures because only a handful of gamers wanted to buy it.

    So the system works: Let the creators be creative, the the marketers make it popular, and let the gamers decide whether it’s worth their time and money.

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