Hideo Kojima dropped a bombshell at the end of January, announcing that – alongside development of Death Stranding 2 – he would also be returning to the action-espionage genre that put him on the map with the Metal Gear series, in the form of Physint for PlayStation 5. And now, in a new episode of his HideoTube web series, the designer has explained how a period of sickness and surgery – and thoughts of his own mortality – convinced him to ‘change his priorities’ and do something fans had been asking him to do for years.
During the hour-long episode (thanks GameSpot), Kojima explained how, after departing Konami and establishing his independent Kojima Productions studio, he “wanted to do something new with my own IP” and “challenge myself”, leading to Death Stranding. “Then, to create a franchise,” he continued, “I made Death Stranding 2. And I wanted to do something even newer, so I started working on OD. And since then, there have been a lot of new ideas.”
However, Kojima revealed that during those eight years, “Every day on social media, from users all around the world, people have been asking me to create another Metal Gear and stuff like that.” But it wasn’t until he became ill in 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, that those requests began to take on a more significant meaning.
“It was also during the pandemic,” he revealed, “so I was sick and isolated during all of it. I even had surgery. And I thought, ‘I can’t anymore.’ I was at my lowest and felt like I couldn’t go back to making games. I wrote a will, too. And in that moment, I realised that people die. But, I turned 60 last year. I’ll turn 70 in 10 years. I hope to never retire. Having said that, if the users desire it so much, I thought I should change my priorities a bit. I still want to do new things, but I decided to make an action-espionage game.”
Physint, which Kojima described as the “culmination of my work” back during its PlayStation State of Play reveal, is still some considerable way out – Kojima has Death Stranding 2: On the Beach and the Microsoft-backed OD to focus on first. However, he’s already dropped a few hints of what might be in store, calling it an “interactive game” that’s also a movie “in terms of look, story, theme, cast, acting, fashion and sound.” Plus, it’ll be an actual movie.
During his latest HideoTube episode, Kojima expanded on that, explaining that while “it will be a game… if your mother walks in and sees you playing this game, she’ll think you’re watching a movie. I’m not sure how far we can take it yet.” Previously, Kojima said his goal for Physint was to “transcend the barriers between film and video games”. Will he succeed? Given the timeline here, we’ll probably all be fairly old by the time we find out.