It should come as no surprise that a games industry veteran like Hideo Kojima is excited about VR. What is interesting, though, is what he makes of VR experiences so far.
Simply put, he doesn’t sound too impressed. The Metal Gear Solid creator was recently quizzed about VR by IGN Japan, and, according to a translation from Reddit user InoriHime (which a quick Google translation confirms to be accurate enough, though don’t take it as word-for-word), he was pretty blunt about what what he thought of current VR experiences. He said that he hasn’t yet seen anything he “particularly liked”, which makes him want to work on a VR game himself.
“VR can make users feel in ways that was previously not possible, this is huge, yet no one is doing this!” Kojima explained. “They see VR as an extension of traditional games, but I think it is not.”
So what should they do? Kojima wouldn’t say. “If I said what they should do, then people will just copy that thing, so I won’t say it here,” he explained.
As a hint, the developer pointed to the Lumière brothers, who created the first motion picture camera over 100 years ago. He explained their invention of moving frames to create the illusion of a moving picture, which has formed the basis of much media for the past century.
“But now with VR, there’s no frame,” Kojima said. “There’s no frame, and it’s interactive. This opens up possibilities. You can do things that was [sic] previously impossible because of this frame. I would love to explore this area while no one is at it yet.”
Interestingly, when we spoke with Christian Cantamessa, the lead designer from Red Dead Redemption who is now working on VR projects of his own, he also spoke to this notion of going “beyond the frame” which appears to echo Kojima’s thoughts here.
Perhaps Kojima hasn’t seen some of the experiences that aren’t really games yet. We’re talking about interactive titles like Jon Favereau’s Gnomes and Goblins, which may be closer to what he envisions for the future of VR. Unfortunately, Kojima is too busy with his latest game, Death Stranding, to develop his own VR content right now. Given the game likely won’t be released until 2018 at the very earliest, hopefully someone will beat him to the punch and realize his VR dreams before him.