For the past week and a bit, Metal Gear maker Hideo Kojima has been touring the world with PlayStation 4 system architect Mark Cerny. The uber-intelligent twosome – who must surely have a combined IQ nearing the 300s – have been hitting the headquarters of practically all PlayStation studios, checking out everything from game engines to motion capture facilities. But now that the very public voyage has concluded, is there anything that we can learn from the expedition? Let's first recap the outing in its entirety.
Around the Worldwide Studios in ten or so days
19th January: Mark Cerny joins Twitter to announce his jaunt with Hideo Kojima. The greatest double-act since The Chuckle Brothers make their first stop at Sony's futuristic Visual Arts Studio Group in San Diego, checking out the motion capture methods used on The Last of Us and The Order: 1886.
20th January: The duo fly to Seattle to meet with the team at Sucker Punch, where they reminisce over forgotten Nintendo 64 exclusive Rocket Robot on Wheels. Kojima has a brief existential crisis over his facial hair, prompting 34,825 people to vote in favour of him keeping his beard.
21st January: Cerny and Kojima travel to Oregon in order to suck in some fresh air before sitting through a 276 slide presentation from Sony Bend. The team's known to be working on Unreal Engine 4, so it may have shared some valuable intel on the engine with the new Kojima Productions.
22nd January: The pair head to SCEA's main headquarters in San Mateo, where Cerny enjoys cocktails with president Shawn Layden while Kojima poses in front of a Kratos statue. The SCEA music group present the Metal Gear man with a variety of vinyl records based upon first-party games.
25th January: Cerny and Kojima spend the weekend travelling to London, before heading to SCEE's main office near Oxford Street to try out some of London Studio's PlayStation VR titles. They then travel to Guildford to meet with Media Molecule for a disgusting haggis lunch.
26th January: The twosome travel to Amsterdam to hang out with Guerrilla Games and do a quick signing session. The evening involves a night out with the swaggest man in games, managing director Hermen Hulst, and everyone wakes up the next day with a sore head.
27th January: No time for rest, though, as Cerny and Kojima head straight to Paris to meet with Quantic Dream – the only second-party studio on their hit list. In addition to posing for pictures with David Cage, the Metal Gear maker is reunited with Teppei Takehana, who worked on Metal Gear Solid 4.
So, what did we learn from the trip?
Number One: Sony probably wanted to give Kojima a taste of the culture at its studios around the world. Having worked under the seemingly iron fist of Konami for many years, it appears that the platform holder was eager to show the auteur what life is like elsewhere – especially now that Kojima Productions is working on an exclusive game for the PS4.
Number Two: Sony's studios all seem really, really cool. It's rare that we get an insight into first-party developers like this, but getting a glimpse inside all of PlayStation's teams has illustrated how they all have their own identity – despite being part of the same family. For example, Media Molecule's quirky communal dining room contrasts the edginess of Guerrilla Games' industrial working space – and both reflect the type of games that they make.
Number Three: Sony probably treats Quantic Dream like they're a first-party team. It's interesting that David Cage's Parisian developer was the only independent dev that Cerny and Kojima visited. Obviously the company has created some pretty mind-blowing tech, but given Cage's appearance at the PS4's announcement event as well, it's probably safe to assume that the Parisian firm's considered part of the family internally.
Number Four: Sony likely hopes to sign Kojima up long-term. It's still early days yet, and we have no idea whether Kojima Productions' new IP will even be any good, but there's a strong chance that the Japanese giant greenlit this trip in the hopes of helping convince Kojima that he should commit his future to Sony.
Number Five: We want to go on a road-trip with Kojima and Cerny. Seriously, who wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall when these two get together? What do they talk about over dinner? And what were the top topics of discussion during a drunken night out with Hermen Hulst in Amsterdam?
Have you enjoyed following Kojima and Cerny's tour on Twitter? Have you learned anything from the trip? Write some fan fiction in the comments section below.
[source twitter.com, via twitter.com]
Mark owns 2 shirts? One of which belongs in the eighties? His first game will be some indie esque tactical stealth thingy in VR or it'll be horror VR. Either is fine by me. Why not now pioneer VR gaming with the help of Sony...
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi Haha, three of the pictures in the article are from the same day, so we'll let him off. All of his clothing belongs in the eighties, though!
That's really cool that Sony did that for him, all that he's done for the community he deserves every bit of that love Sony is giving him.
Cerny dresses as a high IQ nerd and I love it
We learnt that SONY is the best Gaming company in the WORLD
We learned that facial hair is lovely.
Really cool to see Kojima taking such an interest in the wider gaming world. I also wish I could work for one of these companies! Maybe one day.
@get2sammyb Haha, can't argue with that! Nothing better than a screen-filling retro gaming motivational poster
Hear, hear! I'm glad that with Kojima not shaving it's finally scientifically proven! I'm sure Cerny would have a beard too if he could grow one.
Kudos to Media Molecule for showing the only women in these pictures.
And the Guerrilla boss for making Kojima goof around for a pic. He could use more of that.
I bet you he isn't even wearing any clothes at all; he just convinces us he is.
Edit: I can't believe this! On a totally unrelated search on Google for Marble Madness, one of my favorite games when I was young, I found out Mark Cerny is the creator of that game! Unbelievable! He was there when the industry was molded and shaped and he's still there doing stuff pretty much no one is capable of. He is called the Renaissance man of gaming, the Da Vinci of the industry and I think there's no better way to describe this man. I'd pay serious money to have dinner with him or something, just listening to his stories.
Edit 2: Oh noes, I think I am in love...
@sinalefa there's also a girl in the London studio pic if you look closely. and my Aunty Helga is the Helghast in the Guerilla games picture - that's not even a suit!
Kojima is Japanese for "Awesome Super Fun Gaming Time!".
Media Molecule - I feel like I'm a bad cat, hissing and scratching at an adorable child for criticising them, but... I didn't really like LBP.
It was fun for maybe an hour. Then boring. The tweeness of their work is similarly amusing for a short while, before becoming cloying and making you allergic to sacks and/or Stephen Fry. Just not my cup of Sheba. Fair play to them for making games for the kiddies/creatives/people who like buying Sackboy DLC though.
Guerilla Games too. I have bought every Killzone since the series started on PS2. And barely played any of them. Nice graphics, leaden controls and ultimately lacklustre games. C'mon... how hard can it be to make an awesome FPS featuring Space Nazis? Even the recent Wolfenstein reboot was miles better.
The only Playstation exclusive shooter that I really liked was Resistance 3. And they're apparently not making a Resistance 4.
I learnt how frustrating it is to be stuck in work when Hideo Kojima tweets a picture from within walking distance of where you live...
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