Hideo Kojima says Metal Gear fans and a health scare inspired his new game Physint

Hideo Kojima stands in front of the Kojima Productions logo in a video promoting the game PHYSINT
Image: Kojima Productions

The action-espionage game is the closest we’ll get to a new Kojima-lead Metal Gear

Hideo Kojima announced a new “action-espionage game” named Physint at Sony’s PlayStation State of Play event last month. And to hear the founder of Kojima Productions describe it, Physint sure sounds a lot like a new take on Metal Gear, the stealth series that Kojima created, but taken to its extremes.

In a new episode of the YouTube show HideoTube — the first one in seven years — Kojima says that constant prodding from Metal Gear fans to make something new in that vein pushed him to return to the action-espionage genre. A health scare in 2020 also sounds instrumental in Kojima’s choice to tackle a third development project.

Kojima describes Physint as “both a game and a movie at the same time,” hence the game’s reveal at the Sony Pictures lot. Kojima emphasized that Physint will be, first and foremost a game. “However, if your mother walks in and sees you playing this game, she’ll think you’re watching a movie,” he said in translated comments.

He then talks about the path that led him back to the genre, saying, “because I became independent, I wanted to do something new with my own IP. So to challenge myself, I first made [Death Stranding]. Then, to create a franchise, 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. But in the last eight years, every day on social media, from users all around the world, people have been asking me to created another Metal Gear and stuff like that.”

Kojima says he “fell ill” in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and underwent surgery for his condition. The creator says that he was at his lowest point then, and considered getting out of game development. Kojima makes his condition at the time sound dire, noting that he wrote out his will.

“And in that moment, I realized that people die,” he explained. “But I turned 60 last year. I’ll turn 70 in 10 years. I hope to never retire. Having said that, if 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.”

Kojima also addressed the pull from Hollywood to make a movie (something he’s actually doing already with production company A24). He said that his obligations at Kojima Productions make that impossible, but that Death Stranding collaborator and film director Guillermo del Toro offered him some advice.

“I talked to Guillermo del Toro about it,” Kojima recalled, referring to Physint’s creation. “And he said, ‘Hideo, what you’re making is already a movie. Keep going as you are.’ His words saved me. And since we’ll be working with many creators in the business, though the output is a game, it won’t be too different from movies.”

Physint was announced in January as a “brand-new original IP.” The action-espionage game “will use cutting-edge technology and a stellar cast to deliver an experience like no other” and will “[blur] the boundaries between film and games, offering near life-like graphics and a new take on interactive entertainment,” the studio said in a statement. Physint sounds like it’s still years away from completion — Kojima Productions still needs to deliver Death Stranding 2: On the Beach in 2025, and OD at an undisclosed date — meaning we might not get Kojima’s return to espionage-action until the PlayStation 6 era.

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