Paige FTW: Game Makers Look To Film
As we continue the Death Stranding hype (the game released this week), news broke that Hideo Kojima has announced that his studio, Kojima Productions, is willing to develop its own movies.
In a BBC documentary about the making of his marquee title, Kojima said the following:
“In the future, Kojima Productions will also start making films. If a person can do one thing well, then they should be able to do anything well.”
Follow Kojima on Twitter, as I do, and you get the impression extremely quickly that the man loves movies. (His affection for lengthy, convoluted cutscenes also hammers that point home, as Metal Gear Solid veterans well know.) Death Stranding is peppered with cameos from … famous directors. Auteurs Guillermo del Toro, Nicolas Winding Refn and Edgar Wright all have cameos.
He loves movies, and he’s widely regarded as a brilliant if overly ambitious game maker.
Are the skills really that transferable?
I think of another brilliant game director who has, actually, directed a few films.
I think, of course, of Tetsuya Nomura of Square-Enix.
Now, Nomura can be a polarizing figure (like Kojima, he loves making stories more absurd and complex than they need to be), but the man has never directed a game that wasn’t a blat to play, he has a firm sense of aesthetics, and he also oversaw the masterpiece that is The World Ends With You.
He also directed Final Fantasy: Advent Children.
So I like Advent Children because it is a glorious succession of CG fight scenes, and everyone is so beautiful it hurts. But as a movie, it’s pretty whatever. The story doesn’t fully make sense, and things just kinda randomly happen.
Now, that’s pretty much what Nomura does in games, too. But the gameplay is what smooths those transitions over.
What would Kojima do if he had that kind of cinematic power?
I don’t know, but I suspect he may be playing with the wrong kind of instrument if he pursues this.