In a recent mini-documentary, Hideo Kojima confirmed that his video game production studio will one day make movies, too. The announcement may not come as a surprise to Kojima's many fans. His games are highly cinematic, and he has a strong penchant for casting movie actors in his games.
Kojima is one of the most prolific and famous game directors in the world. In his 30 years with the game studio Konami, he directed 13 different games including all Metal Gear Solid releases. In 2016, Kojima left Konami and formed his own production studio, which immediately began work on an experimental sci-fi game called Death Stranding.
Four years later, development for Death Stranding has finally been completed. For the game's upcoming release, Kojima appeared in a mini-documentary with BBC, where he professed his desire to make feature films in the future. Kojima is known for his dedication to his video game's cinematic qualities. He famously re-cast the role of Solid Snake in an attempt to make a Metal Gear Solid game more film-like. To do this, he replaced long-tenured voice actor David Hayter with Hollywood star Keifer Sutherland. But Death Stranding takes that cinematic fervor to a new heights. The cast is dominated by screen actors like Norman Reedus, Margaret Qualley, and Mads Mikkelsen. Kojima is also known for making unexpected production decisions, such as casting Nicolas Winding Refn, the famous neon-surrealist director, as a character named Heartman. In the BBC documentary, Kojima shares both his passions and goals for Death Stranding.
During the game Death Stranding, the players connect things. I create my games in the hope that people have fun playing them. So I hope they do have fun, and that's where I'm a bit anxious. I'm very prone to loneliness. I think there are similar people around the world, especially gamers. Even though they're having fun with others outside, when they're alone playing video games in their living room, they don't feel like they fit into society or their community. So when people play this game, they realize people like them exist all over the world.
After confirming that, yes, he does plan to make films, Kojima also explored the disappearing line between video games and movies. Now that streaming has become so important in the entertainment world, he believes that video games and movies will start to appear on the same platforms. As a result, these two forms of media will influence each other in new ways. And as technology improves and more actors appear in video games, it will be harder to tell the difference between the two. However, Kojima is also right that gaming is unique in the way it connects players to others and allows them to participate in the story. Multiplayer games generally require some sort of communication between players. While narrative-focused games, like the ones he typically directs, can be more isolating, they still require interaction from the player.
It's no secret that reviews of Death Stranding have been divisive. However, long-time fans of Kojima will be interested to hear about his plans for the future. Interactive entertainment could play a huge role in the future of storytelling, and Kojima is well placed to drive that trend in the years ahead. For now, Death Stranding will be available November 8 on PS4.