Recently, Glixel interviewed Hideo Kojima about what he’s been up to since leaving Konami, and Kojima did not disappoint. As expected, the interviewer asked Kojima his opinions about film, video games, and the strengths of both mediums. However, things turned interesting when he started to discuss VR and the melding of video games and movies.
"I believe that in the very near future, games and movies will meld together," said Kojima. "But if we move to what we were just talking about – VR and breaking out of the frame – that’ll happen with movies. So now with movies people will be able to look anywhere, so you’ll need to design assets, you'll need to design the movie with the same mentality as designing a game to service the viewer, to cover all those bases."
I found this part to be quite interesting. Not necessarily because of the possibility to blend films and games together, but rather because the process for creating both is apparently similar. When the interviewer later asked Kojima if he still considered games to not be art, Kojima confirmed his belief, stating that video games are more interactive than movies. This gives me two questions to consider: if it’s true that video games can’t be art because they’re more interactive than movies, then what can be done to level the amount of interactivity between the media? Also, can VR help bridge the gap? I’m not sure, because I can’t imagine a VR or gaming experience that doesn’t require at least the player to interact with the world in some way.
One of the goals of the VR industry is to create the elusive full-length game. What constitutes a full-length game is debatable, but I’m assuming the goal is the standard 8-10 hour campaign you might expect from a $60 game. Kojima has some thoughts on this as well. In the interview, he was asked about the shortening of movies, and he believes that they could generally become shorter, citing the way we currently consume media (streaming, mostly). How does this relate to video games?
"Games right now, the main way of creating a large-scale game has been to spend three or more years that takes 100 hours to play or something like that. But I think games will also move in the same way toward an episodic nature, meaning smaller but released in a steady stream."
Kojima has commented in the past about the shift towards episodic gaming in the past, but I’m not too sure I buy into that. Telltale Games’ business model has benefitted from the episodic model, but they’re already building smaller games that actually mimic the format of television shows. If AAA publishers ever tire of their inflated budgets, then maybe we could see a shift towards episodic gaming. I think it would be more inclined to create shorter games and then plan a DLC campaign, which I suppose is kind of like episodic gaming.
But if Kojima is correct, then what about VR? Resident Evil 7’s VR mode was received positively, but if the industry will shift towards shorter experiences in the future, then maybe it will be among the last of its kind. Then again, VR could change the way we work (Kojima mentioned the next interview to likely take place via VR), so we might have to get used to the bridges of our noses supporting our headsets. Might as well try to make a game will help us pass the time.