Ryan Payton was recruited by legendary game designer Hideo Kojima in order to help "westernize" certain aspects of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, including controls and camera functionality. Before joining the company as a producer, Ryan worked extensively in video games journalism for publications such as 1UP and Famitsu.
He joined Kojima's team during the development of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and gradually became a more and more integral part of the development team. After initially focusing on localization he was given the role of producer on Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. As his role expanded, he continued to gain Kojima's trust and began working on almost every aspect of the series during the creation of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of The Patriots. His contributions included: location scouting, scripting, gameplay design, voice direction, marketing, and bug testing among others.
Ryan hosted the successful Kojima Productions Report podcast with fellow MGS producer, Kenichiro Imaizumi. The podcast is the English language companion for Kojima's own Hidechan Radio series.
On August 26th 2008, Ryan announced he was leaving Kojima Productions after his mother falling ill.
Ryan had this to say about leaving the company he had always dreamt of working for:
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 fate.
Working on MGS: Portable Ops and MGS4 has been a life changing experience. I feel so lucky to have worked with such a talented and passionate team.
Ryan most recently worked for Microsoft's Halo division, 343 Industries, as a narrative designer on Halo 4. In September 2011 he departed 343 in order to start work on his own studio, citing a lack of excitement for the project and that "The Halo I wanted to build was fundamentally different and I don't think I had built enough credibility to see such a crazy endeavor through . His new studio, Camouflaj, is currently working on two new games, including a "AAA iOS game" that is being funded through Kickstarter.
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