Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima believes episodic releases could help developers and publishers cope with potentially staggering costs of next-generation development.
EDGE asked Kojima whether he expected next-generation development costs to rise, a subject of debate in the weeks since the PlayStation 4′s reveal. The designer suggested they certainly could.
“A very deep, 20-30 hour game might need a bigger team and take three or four years,” he said.
However, Kojima also said that while “it’s possible to make many things more realistic”, “that doesn’t mean you should”.
“You have to prioritise, and that is what’s going to separate the teams that succeed from the teams that don’t.”
He also suggested a compromise solution, allowing developers to try out new ideas without running the risk of wasting an enormous triple-A budget.
“Something similar to a TV series, where you can use pilot episodes to test the waters before you jump completely into the project,” he said.
“It can be distributed via download channels, so the player can try it out before production continues. Something like that wouldn’t take that long to create, maybe a year, and if it’s successful, you can continue.”
Kojima seems to believe the coming generation will be characterised by this kind of communication between content creators and consumers, rather than the current model of developing almost in a vacuum then launching a game to sink or swim.
“I think there’ll be a social aspect to game creation, because it will be more interactive. You’ll get user feedback, and I think there’ll be this back-and-forth between users and creators,” he said.
Kojima is currently working on Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes for current-generation platforms. The game is to be shown at GDC.