275w ago - Ryan Payton, self-described game hobo, fresh off working on Metal Gear Solid 4 and a cross-country move from Japan back to Seattle, took some time to sit down with me this weekend to talk development, Japan and life.
Payton's move back from Japan to the U.S. couldn't come at a better time for a game developer, as the focus on game development seems to be shifting from former dev powerhouse Japan to the U.S. Japan may still be the center of the gaming universe when it comes to cold hard cash, but when it comes to development it no longer seems to be, Payton said.
"The Japanese public seems to be disinterested in next-gen and high definition gaming," he said, pointing to the 360 and its apparent uphill battle in Japan as proof of that. "There is a stigma still attached to western technology there."
"There have been a lot of good mainstream games built for the Japanese Xbox 360," he said. "But they only sold a small number of copies. I think that kind of drained a lot of expectations."
And yet the DS, with it's relatively dated technology, continues to sell well in Japan.
"It's not about the tech in Japan, it's about the games, it's about nostalgia."
While Japanese gamers still seem interested in the sorts of games coming out of Japan, the same isn't...
276w ago - Ryan Payton (hats, in tow) has left Kojima Productions. The Assistant Producer spearheaded a more Western approach to controls for Metal Gear Solid 4, making the game far more approachable and much tighter than the previous installment. He also helped warm the MGS4 team up to more Western developed games like Gears of War as well. Why did he leave and what's next? His answers after the jump.
Why did you leave Konami and Kojima Productions?
Back when I joined Kojima Productions in 2005, I hit the ground running and didn't stop until we shipped Metal Gear Solid 4. Then, for the first time in three years, I wasn't working on any games and I had a three month vacation ahead of me. I went back home to my family's place in Washington state and literally three weeks after MGS4 launched we were hit with some pretty heavy news concerning my mom.
I don't think I need to go into details, but all of this has reminded me about how important family is. So this past month I decided to leave Kojima Productions and look to continue my career working closer to my family in North America.
It's not easy leaving my other family (the MGS team), but with everybody taking time off and not having any other big projects to shift focus to, it feels like this is how it's supposed to be. It's...
276w ago - If you've been amazed by the technical prowess of MGS4, you may have been saddened to know that the title was the last game in the series. Or was it? In an interview with Kotaku, former Assistant Producer at Kojima Productions Ryan Payton (widely credited with the Westernized control scheme for MGS4), mentioned his reasons for leaving the company and memories of developing the acclaimed title.
At the very end of the interview, he revealed something that all Metal Gear fans wanted to hear. "It'll be hard not being involved in MGS5, but I've got the utmost confidence that Hideo Kojima, Ken Imaizumi, and our amazing team will put together another blockbuster game. I'll be cheering from the sidelines," Payton said.
This isn't the only Metal Gear news that has been released recently. According to an interview with Eurogamer, Hideo Kojima himself noted that MGS4 probably isn't possible to be made on the 360 because of the optimization for the PS3, physical media differences between Blu-ray and DVD and technology issues.
However, he did mention that technological issues might not be a problem farther along in the future. "If the hardware technology rises then obviously, you know, [my future games] won't be based on the hardware anymore. Probably I will first create the software and then, um,...
290w ago - As expected, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patroits is not the final chapter in the Metal Gear series, but will serve as the conclusion to Solid Snake's saga.
Confusion arose last week at a press event held in Tokyo, with series producer Hideo Kojima vaguely stating that MGS 4 is "the conclusion to the Metal Gear Saga."
"I think there's been some misconceptions that this is the last Metal Gear," Payton told MTV. He added, "This is really just the last chapter of the saga of the Solid Snake story."
But if this is Snake's story, what's up with the inclusion of Altair's costume from "Assassin's Creed"? And how did Kojima get Ubisoft and Konami to cooperate?
"The "Assassin's Creed" costume was one of the last things we put in the game," he said. "It was kind of a last minute thing [and] we were really lucky enough to have Ubisoft be so enthusiastic about this kind of cooperation. They worked overtime to get that costume into the game."