The creative producer of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance has admitted that the collaboration between Kojima Productions and Platinum Games, two studios who are used to being granted almost complete autonomy in development of their games, is at times rather problematic, telling us: "We clash all the time."
In an interview, Kojima Productions' Yuji Korekado insists that while the two studios' fierce independence means the occasional clash of heads, it's actually going to result in a better game. When the two teams disagree, they discuss it, and come to a resolution that is, often, better than one team or the other would have come up with itself.
"Platinum Games is a studio that's very similar to Kojima Productions in that they have a very specific belief towards their game creating," Korekado, lead programmer on Metal Gear Solid 4, tells us. "They have things that they don't want to change, that they really believe in. At Kojima Productions we have the same strong feelings toward creating a better game.
"But because we are similar, when there are things that we want changed, we clash all the time. We always clash. We have to discuss."
Pressed for specifics, Korekado tells of Etsu Tamari, the KojiPro staffer who is writing the game's story, and frequently found himself at loggerheads with the game director, Platinum's Kenji Saito. The solution, Korekado explains, was to lock the pair away until they sorted it out.
"We put them in a room for three continuous days, and they discussed from morning til night what the writer wanted to create for a story and what the game director wanted to create as a game," he tells us. "And after those three days, it seemed like they had been good friends for a very long time. So we sorted that."
The first clash between the two studios came when discussing the game's setting. KojiPro originally planned for the game to take place between the events of Metal Gear Solids 2 and 4, but Platinum felt it would be too tightly restricted by having to adhere to that timeline. Korekado explains: "So we told the game director, 'We don’t have to place the game between 2 and 4; to have more freedom we were thinking it might be better just to put the story in a different time'."
The two studios are bound to clash; they're used to working alone, granted near-total autonomy by publishers who are mindful, and respectful, of their considerable abilities. What's important is that they turn those disagreements into something positive, and Korekado is adamant that they are doing precisely that.
"In the end, the motivation of both studios is to make a better product," he says. "When we collide, we can usually see what is good and what is bad in each other's ideas. And it helps us make something better.
"So as the creative producer, I think we have a lot of problems, but all these problems have given us the right direction to follow."
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance will be released on February 19 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.