Kojima Only Serving in a Supporting Role on Enders Project
Anticipation is swelling over the newly announced Zone of the Enders sequel, but swept under the current of fangasms is the fact that famed game designer Hideo Kojima, who worked extensively on the first two entries into the mecha series, is taking a backseat on the third game, leaving development duties such as scripting, direction, and both game and level design to his Kojima Productions staff.
Due to his commitment to the mysterious Project Ogre, Kojima specified his role would limit him to producer status on Enders, and that his biggest contribution would be overall direction and pre-production planning. Hideo has commented in the past that this is exactly the amount of input he wanted to have on future titles, reasoning that pouring years of his life into a single project had become horribly draining. Hideo wanted to take this approach during Metal Gear Solid 4 before his team egged him onto a more hands-on capacity, so perhaps we’ll see his meddling despite himself when it comes to Enders Project (if someone’s willing to duct tape him to a computer).
As for the newborn Enders Project, what direction might it be taking? Kojima assures fans Z.O.E. definitely won’t feel any different but the artistic style may end up being a far cry away from the first two games’ Japanimation vibe in favor of a more “global, high-end” styling (i.e. marketable outside Japan). Kojima says the team isn’t striving for photorealism (even though their Fox Engine could probably handle it) but they are rendering models like the one seen above into the game, which may be indicative of the style shift.