Once in a blue moon, you get someone who has changed the gaming industry for the better with his or her idea’s which bring about a new way to play these games.
One of them is a person we are honoring with this year’s GOONL!NE Lifetime Achievement Award. Creator of Boktai, Policnauts, Snatcher, Zone of the Enders and one of the best gaming series of all time, Metal Gear Solid.
We are of course referring to the winner of GOONL!NE’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Hideo Kojima.
In 1963, Hideo Kojima was born in a hospital in Tokyo. As he got older, after doing comics and 8mm movies with a friend as a kid, in 1986, he joined Konami Computer Entertainment as a Designer and Planner.
After being snubbed by Konami of his gaming ideas, and even at one point considered leaving Konami, in 1987, he pitched an idea to high up execs in Konami where instead of shooting people guns blazing, he pitched an idea of a game based on stealth.
The game was known as Metal Gear.
The game was released on the MSX in 1987 with a port on the NES afterwards. In 1988, he made the game Snatcher for the MSX2 where the game was heavilly influenced by the movie, Blade Runner.
In 1990, he started work on Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake with a release soon after on the MSX-2 for a Japan only release for the game which meant the game would not reach European shores, along with Metal Gear, until 2006 when it was bundled with one of Kojima’s later projects, Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence.
In 1994, Snatcher was remade for the SEGA CD in Europe and North America followed then by ports for the 3DO in 1995 as well as the Sega Saturn and PlayStation in 1996, although Kojima wasn’t directly involved with the project’s at all.
In the same year Snatcher was remade, Kojima set out a new game, Policenauts. The game, which was based on a space colony sci-fi adventure, was eventually released in the same year for the PC in 94 with ports for 3DO in 1995 and the Saturn and PlayStation in 1996 but to this day, despite many translations by fans of the game as well as a failed localisation attempt for the Saturn port, the game has never been released in the West.
But it wasn’t until 1997 when he revealed Metal Gear Solid for the PlayStation 2 at E3 1997 where he truly became a gaming celebrity. He wasn’t just bringing back an old gaming series, he was inventing a brand new genre to the industry with MGS1.
Following another trailer at E3 1998, in 1998 in Japan and the US, Metal Gear Solid was released on the PlayStation to absolute critical acclaim and is hailed to this day to be one of the best game’s on the PlayStation alongside Final Fantasy VII.
The following February of 1999, Metal Gear Solid was released in Europe and it recieved crticial acclaim to reach No. 1 in the gaming charts in the UK.
But it was until the noughties and the new millienium until Kojima would really reach beyond the bounds of his popularity. At E3 2000, to massive aplause, he unveiled a brand new Metal Gear for a brand new PlayStation, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty for the PlayStation 2
It was recieved so well that a couple of critics tried to point out it was pre-rendered when infact it wasn’t.
The following E3 in 2001, Kojima showed Metal Gear Solid 2 for what would be the last time in a very long time as the game would not submerge until the game’s release in late 2001. However, due to the September 11th terrorist attacks, the game would undergo changes in the game such as the original ending for the game such as when Arsenal Gear crashes into the Statue of Liberty or when Raiden would cut a US flag to cover Solidus’ body.
None the less, the game did eventually ship in late 2001 for the PlayStation 2 in North America and Japan but the game would not see a European release until March 2002.
But before the release of Metal Gear Solid 2, Kojima moved onto a project which he was producing for the PlayStation 2 and while the game would not recieve as much acclaim compared to the Metal Gear Solid series, it gather a cult fanbase.
In 2001, Konami released Zone of the Enders for the PlayStation 2 which would be based on a young boy named Leo Stenbuck taking control of a mech known as Jehuty to take on the forces of BAHRAM who want to take several important mechs known as Oribital Frames, one of them being Jehuty, as they invite a space colony near Mars. But the big sales boost didn’t come with the game itself, despite the fact that Zone of the Enders itself was okay, it came thanks to an included demo of Metal Gear Solid 2 just before release.
In 2002, Zone of the Enders 2: The 2nd Runner was announced to be in development for the PlayStation 2 and it was to be produced by Kojima with directors duties going towards Shuyo Muruta who was pretty oblivious to the gaming community up until ZOE2.
It wouldn’t be until late 2003 in Europe until Zone of the Enders 2 would be released for the PlayStation 2 while America and Japan got it early in the year.
But it wouldn’t be until a year later until we saw a brand new console game being developed for the PS2, luckully, it was the game that everyone wanted, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. While Metal Gear Solid 2: Susbstance was being released that year for the PlayStation 2, months after a original release on the Xbox, Kojima unveiled MGS3 for the first time at E3 2003.
In late 2004, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released on the PlayStation 2 in North America and Japan but it wouldn’t be until March 2005 until the game came out in the UK and Europe for the PS2. At the launch party for the game however, Kojima announced that this would be his MGS he would directly do but at E3 2005, when the next gen consoles were unveiled, a teaser trailer was released for Metal Gear Solid 4, running on PS2 technology, showing what the game could possibly do in terms of the PLAYSTATION 3.
In the trailer, it shows the credits for what would be the game’s main production staff while soldiers run towards respectiver chairs. Snake takes one of them out by using CQC to get a chair before seeing somebody else in it before killing everyone who was on a chair. Just as he took his seat and sat on it, the name Alan Smithee, an alias for directors who wish to be annoymous, hinged and fell off before revealing the director would be none other then Kojima himself.
But it wouldn’t be until the Tokyo Games Show 2005, where at the exact same time Metal Gear Solid 3: Susbsitence was revealed for the PlayStation 2 where it would have for the first time ever online play (Metal Gear Online), the next, and final, Metal Gear Solid game would be unveiled, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PLAYSTATION 3.
Unlike videos for other games which were on the PLAYSTATION 3 which was proven to be CG, Metal Gear Solid 4 was running in real time for the PLAYSTATION 3 at TGS 2005.
Come E3 2006, we had our first true glimpse at what was to become from Guns of the Patriots including a return to Metal Gear Solid 2 main hero, Raiden and his transformation into a cyborg ninja. We were then shocked to learn that at the end of the trailer, Snake, who became a frail old man after being a supersoldier all his life when MGS4 was revealed, put a gun in his mouth which possibly indeciated the end of the MGS series despite Kojima’s numours claims before that he would quit MGS.
At E3 2007, he appeared at Sony’s E3 Press Conference to show Metal Gear Solid 4 to the audience and to the people who were watching on the internet also confirming that MGS4 would be his last MGS game.
The game was delayed until early 2008 but in October 2007, the game got delayed until Q2 2008. It wouldn’t be until the end of February 2008 when Konami confirmed that MGS4 would recieve a worldwide release on Thursday June 12th for the PLAYSTATION 3.
And on Thursday June 12th 2008, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, after 2 and a half years of waiting, was finally released to the world, it was the game every PLAYSTATION 3 owner was looking forward to.
The game recieved probably the biggest critical acclaim then any of the previous MGS games combined getting 10′s and 9′s across the board hailing it as one of the best games of all time.
But now, with Hideo Kojima done with MGS, what does he plan on doing next? Nobody knows but people are dying for Zone of the Enders 3 on the PLAYSTATION 3 but Kojima has said he will reveal his next game at the Toyko Games Show 2009.
Hideo Kojima is one of the most influentual game developers of all time, he is the great storyteller of games, like it or not, you could even say that, as bold as it could be saying this, anything Kojima touches turns into gold.
And that is why the GOONL!NE Lifetime Achievement Award goes to theo ne and only, Hideo Kojima.