Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes Will Prove Big Japanese Games Have a Future

Kojima understands the popularity of social games, but still thinks AAA products can thrive.

Mobile games continue to grow in Japan, and while they haven’t completely overtaken AAA products, Hideo Kojima is starting to believe that young people are more interested in smaller social experiences than major releases. He recently explained this happening to GamesTM.

"We've seen a phenomenon around the world," Kojima said. "Young people are losing interest in high-end games and focusing on mobile and social titles, especially in Japan."

The first step to proving that big games still matter in Japan is Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, which is simply the introduction to the much larger The Phantom Pain.

"I'll be honest, [splitting MGS5 up] wasn't necessarily a strategic move," he said. "The Phantom Pain is roughly 200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes. A game that big wouldn't be ready for next-gen launch windows, and we didn't have any Japanese titles that would be available. At that time, the Ground Zeroes portion was almost complete and a lot of fans were asking for a prologue, so that’s the decision we came to. That was the reasoning behind the move."

The open-world stealth game will hit current and next-generation hardware March 18.