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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes doesn't avoid "sensitive" material, Kojima says

Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes doesn't shy away from "things that could be considered sensitive", according to Hideo Kojima, because the development team wants to "go to the limit" to convey its message. Just like the characters in Breaking Bad.


"I don’t think necessarily that all games have to go this far; in our case we have a strong message that we want to convey."

Speaking at a roundtable event, as reported by Gamespot, Kojima said his team wants to push the limits of what's acceptable in games in order to broaden the medium.

"If we don't cross that line, if we don't make attempts to express what we really want to express, games will only be games," he said.

"If we don't try to go beyond that, we won't be able to achieve what movies or novels have achieved. I didn't want to stay away from these things that could be considered sensitive. If we don't go that far, games will never be considered as culture."

Kojima then made an interesting comparison to Breaking Bad, which Gamespot has interpreted as referring not to the show's creators but to its characters.

"In Breaking Bad, I also see that these guys are trying to go to the limit; trying to take it as far as they can to try to get their message across. For us as well," he said.

"In games we have to go to the limit; we want to stay within this limit of how far - pushing the boundaries of conveying our message. We look around and we don't see too many games like this; that is unfortunate."

It seems likely Kojima's comments refer to some of Ground Zeroes' more extreme content, which was outed by the ESRB.

"One of the main topics of Metal Gear Solid 5 is this chain of revenge. That is something that I really didn't want to step back from, I really didn't want to go around it," Kojima said.

"I know that I will probably face a lot of criticism because of it but I really wanted to portray that accurately.

"I don't think necessarily that all games have to go this far; in our case we have a strong message that we want to convey," he added.

Ground Zeroes is a prologue to and tutorial for Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Although it's a stand-alone release with a lot of replayability, the price has recently been dropped. It arrives on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on March 18 in North America and March 20 in Europe and beyond.

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Brenna Hillier avatar

Brenna Hillier


Based in Australia and having come from a lengthy career in the Aussie games media, Brenna worked as VG247's remote Deputy Editor for several years, covering news and events from the other side of the planet to the rest of the team. After leaving VG247, Brenna retired from games media and crossed over to development, working as a writer on several video games.