Forget Death Stranding: Hideo Kojima Was Born to Make Indie Games

Hideo Kojima may have the chops to produce AAA blockbusters like Death Stranding. But he was born to make indie games.

Posted in: Gaming NewsOp-ed
Published:
January 25, 2020 8:00 PM UTC
  • Hideo Kojima sat down recently for an interview with Famitsu.
  • He said he wants to work on smaller games.
  • That might be the perfect medium for a storyteller like him.

A recent interview with Famitsu reveals that, fresh off the release of Death Stranding, Hideo Kojima and Yoji Shinkawa are already preparing for a wide array of future projects: a possible manga, an anime feature, a full-length movie, and of course, more video games.

Details remain slim, but Kojima teased one more “big” game coming out of his studio. Even better, he said that Kojima Productions plans to take a swing at smaller games too.

Hideo Kojima Would Be a Perfect Indie Developer

For Kojima, working on smaller games may be for the best. | Source: PlayStation/Kojima Productions

Hideo Kojima may be adept at producing blockbuster titles, but he was born to be an indie developer.

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He already creates quirky games, and a storytelling genius like him must have notebooks full of amazing ideas.

If Kojima tried to transform all of those ideas into big-budget, AAA games, virtually none of his pitches would ever make it past the drawing board.

That won’t be the case if he shifts toward developing smaller projects.

Kojima’s Strange Ideas Fit Smaller Games Better Than AAA Titles

Delivering packages sounds like a perfect indie game pitch. | Source: PlayStation/Kojima Productions

Just look at Death Stranding. Basing an entire game on package delivery doesn’t sound like a recipe for AAA success.

Kojima did as much as anyone could have expected with that premise, but gamers harbor mixed feelings on the game.

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This might not have been the case if the game had been less ambitious and didn’t ask gamers to commit $60 – not to mention the ~50 hours necessary to complete a full playthrough.

Indie Games Can Get Away With a Larger Focus on Story

Even Kojima’s “flaws” fit perfectly in the indie space. | Source: PlayStation

Kojima could also use smaller games to mitigate the flaws in his design ethos, the largest of which is his tendency to lean too heavily into the story.

Take Metal Gear Solid 4. It has roughly eight hours of story in a game that takes about 18 hours to beat. That’s asking a bit much of gamers who expect certain things from a AAA title.

Yet there are plenty of indie games that emphasize story over gameplay. Kojima’s experimental style and love for storytelling would fit perfectly in this space.

Hideo Kojima fans – even those disappointed by Death Stranding – have a lot to look forward to when he unveils his next project.

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This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.

Last modified: January 23, 2020 7:07 PM UTC

William White @WilliamWhiteIP

William White comes from Southeast Ohio and is a graduate of Washington State Community College. He's been writing professionally for over 10 years and his current focus is on the gaming industry.

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