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Western-influenced Kojima builds a new team in Los Angeles

Western-influenced Kojima builds a new team in Los Angeles
September 12, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Japan's most notoriously Western-inspired game director is finally getting what he always seemed to want: his own American development team.

Metal Gear Solid maker Kojima Productions, so-named for its leader Hideo Kojima, is staffing up a new team in Los Angeles. This will not only be the Konami subsidiary's first office outside of Japan, but also its first branch since the studio set up in Tokyo seven years ago.

Kojima has expressed admiration for Western games and Western companies' approaches to development numerous times in the past. He's even criticized Japan's younger generations for lacking the kind of motivation he's seen in the West.

Kojima, one of the highest-profile game directors in Japan, has also repeatedly spoken about the need for Japanese developers to create games with more global appeal, and his studio has taken steps to add elements in their games that appeal to international players.

And when Kojima was searching for another studio to consider taking over development of its upcoming game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (previously MGS: Rising), he considered working with Western studios for the project, before eventually partnering with PlatinumGames.

The company said in February that it would open a U.S. studio if it could find the right people. Its new Los Angeles branch currently is hiring for a variety of positions through Gamasutra's job board, including artists, level designers, gameplay programmers, graphic engine/tools programers, and more.

It's unclear what the U.S. team will work on -- Kojima Productions' projects on the way include PlatinumGames' MGS: Revengeance and its recently announced multi-platform, open-world game MGS: Ground Zeroes (pictured).

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