Platinum Games and Kojima Productions talk Metal Gear, Rising and “butting heads”

Metal gear Rising PS3 screens

Recently OPM went to see Metal Gear Rising in action and speak to both Platinum Games director Kenji Saito, producer Atsushi Inaba, and Kojima Productions producer Yuji Korekado. Here they talk about creating Rising, their favorite MGS and cross-studio differences.

OPM When Platinum Games started on Metal Gear Rising, how far along was the aborted Kojima Productions version?

yuji korekadoYuji Korekado The script was finished and the boss concepts were finished. The design was finished with those levels, and the levels were at the point where we could play it through in a white box – but we couldn’t come up with a core concept to tie it all together. In the end, we couldn’t finish the game. Just to brag a little bit about our designs, we believe that the bosses we created for Metal Gear Solid: Rising were probably some of the best in the series, but Saito came in and said, “We’re not going to use these bosses.” So you’ll not be seeing them this time around.

But you see, the bosses in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance are very unique characters, and are game design-driven. As an action game, we believe that the bosses should resemble the dynamics of the design, and although they’re very unique, we believe that these characters very much fit into the Metal Gear world. And we hope you guys feel the same when you see them.

OPM Platinum Games has always been about making new intellectual properties. Was there any hesitation about working on someone else’s franchise?

Atsushi InabaAtsushi Inaba Platinum Games is, of course, an independent studio, so we had to work from the ground up and make our own new IP. It wasn’t necessarily that we wanted to make a new IP; it was because we had no choice at the time. We wanted to make new games – exciting games – and very fun games for our audience, but if we’re able to provide that surprising aspect, that fun aspect in a game, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a new IP or not. I thought it would be a great, exciting project, and a fun [experience] to work with Kojima Productions and provide something new for our audience.

OPM How much freedom do you have to implement your own touches in the game, seeing as it’s a collaboration?

Kenji SaitoKenji Saito Kojima Productions looks over the game writing and storytelling direction for the cut-scenes, and Platinum Games looks over the entire game and the design of it. Of course there’s a lot of input for both sides, but we there’s a lot of flexibility for us to say what we want to do for some of the storytelling, depending on the design of the game. We believe there’s a lot of flexibility for both sides.

Boris was included in the initial Kojima Productions concept, and is included in Revengeance as well. We did, of course, look at [the initial version of the game] and refer to it, and there are some characters we reused from the original concept. Ultimately, the most important concept that we needed to stay within is the Metal Gear world.

As Korekado says, the boss battles and the bosses in general were completely different at the time. There were a lot of stealth concepts that were [being done] internally at Kojima Studios. Now that it’s an action game we had to revamp that, and Platinum Games provided a lot of input and a lot of ideas. But in order to fit into the Metal Gear world, all of our boss concepts and any kind of art concept that comes out of Platinum Games is supervised by the art director at Kojima Productions, Yoji Shinkawa – and I think that reflects positively in the game.