Hey. Atsushi Inaba here, producer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.
Time really does fly.
Looking back, it was just last December that Rising shook the 2011 Video Game Awards’ main event with its climatic debut, along with one piece of shocking news. “Developer: PlatinumGames.” The announcement was met with a storm of controversy both for and against. Soon, it was like a shockwave the size of a hurricane that carried the news to every corner of the world.
It has been a year since then, but it still feels like it was yesterday. Time really, really does fly. Which, I end up saying with every game I work on, but with this project in particular, time really seemed to go by at an abnormally fast pace.
Usually, production on a game becomes busiest right near the end of its schedule. Literally every minute, every second feels crucial. In comparison, work is often a little more relaxed at the start. But not with regards to Rising. Not in the least.
Allow me to describe the situation with a metaphor: We dragged the whole team from their beds, put them in a fighter jet while they were still half asleep… the next moment catapulted off the carrier and flying at top speed.
That’s how the project started (or how I made it start?).
Still not fully grasping their surroundings, and in mid-panic at feeling gravity a few Gs higher than before, I gathered the team for an announcement. “We’re debuting at the Video Game Awards, so get started on a trailer!” I’ll never forget that moment. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. But of course, they can all look back now and appreciate that moment… no, probably not. I take that back.
What led up to that sudden catapult off the carrier (starting work with Kojima Productions), is something I’ve already discussed in several interviews (like the one below), so I’ll omit that here.
At Platinum, we’re not so easily surprised. Still, I think the staff was pretty shocked when I told them, “We’re making Metal Gear Rising!” Kenji probably had a heart attack when I asked him, “Want to be the director? I need an answer right now.”
I really wanted to make this project happen, though. I remember all the plans I started making after I met with Kojima, to turn his proposal into a reality. In interviews I said, “I went for it because the thought of it excited me”, but I don’t want that to suggest I was simply impulsive.
What we at PlatinumGames make, if I were to say in short, can be defined by two words: “Pride” and “Dedication.”
Pride to think that, “If we make this, we can make it awesome!”
Pride to continuously expect more and more of ourselves.
Dedication to the principle that what we make should never disappoint our fans.
We want to be as sincere to those two words as possible.
That’s what PlatinumGames stands for.
However, this project introduced a new challenge: making something that Kojima Productions and Metal Gear fans everywhere would approve of. Kojima Productions believed in our talent as an action game maker, and we set out to meet to those expectations. Moreover, we strove to create something that exceeds the expectations of every Metal Gear fan. By the end, we had expanded the range of gameplay experiences we provide as a developer. It gave new meaning to our idea of dedication. That’s what you’ll find inside this project. That’s why I wanted to do it. No matter what.
But a game isn’t a game if it isn’t fun. Even with some dramatic “Developer: PlatinumGames!” announcement, if it isn’t fun, what’s the point? What really matters is that.
We only had a trailer for the VGAs, but with E3 and TGS, we were able to show our game off in a booth prepped for tons of fans to try out a demo of the game. Thankfully, the feedback from fans we received at both events was overwhelmingly positive. We were able to see the “dedication” end of our promise coming through. That being said, we knew we weren’t completely there yet.
I’ve hinted at some of the struggles we’ve faced in this post, but after the announcement, this year has been filled to the brim with blood, sweat, tears, and laughter… Every day has been a challenge, and I bet the staff have three times as fast during this project. You’ll be able to hear what they were going through soon enough, directly from them, here on this site.
There is still just a little bit of time left until the release of Metal Gear Rising.
I hope this blog series will give you a sense of “So… this is what the creators were thinking while making the game.” as you wait for the game to be released.
Until next time!