Hideo Kojima was born on August 24, 1963 in Setagaya, Tokyo. His family moved around often, and Kojima had to deal with death early on in his life which may have to do with on why there's so many deaths in the Metal Gear and Metal Gear Solid series. He grew up as a latchkey kid and would often come home to an empty house and watch TV. At one point he wanted to be an illustrator, but was discouraged because his uncle was also an artist who struggled financially for many years. He tried to become a writer and submitted short stories to many Japanese magazines, but his stories tended to be much longer than they wanted. Kojima went on to college where he studied economics. In his four years there, he decided to enter the video game industry. Kojima entered the gaming industry not knowing any kind of coding. In 1986, Kojima joined Konami's MSX division, but in his early years there he almost quit the game industry, since many of his ideas were tossed aside due to his lack of programming knowledge. He went on to work on a game called Penguin Adventure as an assistant director, then was to serve as director on a game called Lost World, which was subsequently canceled.
The release of Metal Gear in 1987 was a major milestone in Kojima's career, paving the way for his future success and laying the foundations for the stealth genre. It was a major success in Japan, Europe, Brazil, and even the Soviet Union, but since the game's platform, the MSX2, was unavailable in the United States, a U.S. release of Metal Gear was instead created for the Nintendo Entertainment System, for which it sold over a million copies in the U.S. Kojima then created the original version of Snatcher, a cyberpunk-themed visual novel / adventure game, released in 1988.
Kojima's next Metal Gear game, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, was released six years later, again on the MSX2, and was a success in Japan. (This time, however, the game was unavailable in the U.S. until it was included in the compilation Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence in 2006.) He then went on to remake Snatcher and designed a similar sci-fi adventure game, Policenauts.
Kojima became a celebrity in the game industry with the release of Metal Gear Solid, which became an instant worldwide hit in 1998. He then made Zone of the Enders, which became a hit due to its inclusion of a demo of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which in turn went on to become an even bigger commercial success than its predecessor.
He then went on to make Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the Boktai series, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, where he makes an in-game appearance as the recruitable character Hideo Kojima. He then worked as a producer and director on Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, and an executive producer on Metal Gear Solid: Rising and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.
Kojima has stated on several occasions that Yuji Horii and Shigeru Miyamoto have been major influences on his game creation mentality. The games that influenced him to enter the gaming industry were Horii's 1983 mystery visual novel / adventure game Portopia Serial Murder Case and Miyamoto's 1985 famous platformer game Super Mario Bros.
Horii's influence is evident in his adventure games Snatcher and Policenauts as well as aspects of the Metal Gear series. His respect for Miyamoto led to the remake of Metal Gear Solid on the Gamecube, known as Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, after Miyamoto asked for the franchise to have another game on the Nintendo console. This relationship also led to the inclusion of Solid Snake to Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
A movie connoisseur, Kojima would often times make short films and movies when he was a teenager. Film had a profound effect on his game creation ideology, specifically the use of cut-scenes to drive plot development. Although he was criticized for creating "interactive movies" he story telling style is widely held to be among the best in the video game industry. Kojima has on occasion noted that whereas most people are 70% water, he considers himself "70% film", a gentle self parody based upon his extensive cut-scenes and an honest reference to his love of film.
As another testament to the influence of movies, several characters in the Metal Gear Solid series were named after characters in movies that he particularly enjoyed. Such examples include the name Solid Snake (taken from the character Snake in Escape from New York).
- "Game creation keeps on expanding, just like the Universe. That is why I keep making games"
- "Games are ingredients for entertainment that the gamers will decide how to process"
- "The human body is supposed to be 70 percent water. I consider myself 70 percent film"
"Finally it is possible to battle with players from around the world online at Metal Gear Solid from the comfort of your own home. For the online mode, the essence of Metal Gear Solid is retained, with additions of various online rules and original stages. With the continued growth of the culture of Metal Gear Solid, this new online addition, I believe will bring a new way to enjoy and experience the world. I hope fans will look forward to experiencing it.”
"This fourth is going to be the final one for me and Shinkawa. There are other things that we want to create."
[While Kojima may be ready to move on, the Metal Gear series has been the seasoned Konami director's life's work--so far.] "I originally wanted to make movies and novels, but I just couldn't do it, ... I was really hyped up about making Metal Gear, since it was going to be a game about war.”
"The online mode will be free."
"creating this disc has taken us about the same time as editing a real film, ... It takes a long time to actually play through MGS3, so there are probably people that never finished the whole game. With this disc, anyone can experience the drama in MGS3 and cry."
"First-person shooters are popular overseas, and the camera angle in the original MGS3 wasn't too popular, ... A [camera angle] engine was already in development, so we decided to add it.”
“What's troubling is that because the camera is 3D, the northern part of the screen isn't necessarily north anymore. So the jungle transforms into the true meaning of a jungle. For someone with no sense of direction like myself, I get lost in the caves every time.”
- "Should I use this opportunity to start doing daily headstands?”