Hideo Kojima said that around the time Grand Theft Auto 3 was released, he and his team tried to create "something similar" to its open-world design. Kojima didn't note to what extent that something similar was worked on, nor which project it was for, but he did say it wasn't up to the standard of Rockstar's crime sim.
The Japanese veteran designer presented GTA creators the Houser brothers with lifetime achievement awards at last night's BAFTA ceremony in London. Kojima has previously spoken about being influenced by the vastness of GTA 3, telling EGM back in 2012 the game "definitely opened his eyes." After the awards show, we asked him if the GTA games had inspired the open-world design of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes.
"When GTA 3 came out, we were on Metal Gear Solid 2," Kojima said, speaking through a translator. "At that point we tried to create something similar and we were completely unable to come up with this design to [a level of] similar success. Actually, around then I had with dinner with Dan Houser who I just saw [tonight] for the first time after ten years. To be honest, looking at their [Rockstar's] success at doing what we tried to do and failed, we went back and made the game engine [and] we first tried to ensure the freedom the player would have. So more than being inspired by them, to be honest they just went ahead of us, they were more successful than what we were trying to create back then.
"Now, game-wise what we are trying to create [in Ground Zeroes] is something probably different than they are trying to create. We're trying to ensure the freedom so the player can do some more realistic stealth infiltration by having all this freedom. So I believe we're creating different games."
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes is the first game in the stealth series to feature an open world, and Big Bosses worldwide get to explore it in a few days' time. The game hits North America on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PS3 on March 18, and then Europe on March 20.