Earlier today Maeda Yoshiko interviewed former game developer for Konami, Hideo Kojima for their site toyokeizai.net. The interview was to discuss 'the crisis and the future of the entertainment industry'. I'm sure I do not need to remind anyone that Kojima left Konami, instantly killing Silent Hills that was under development. There were many rumors that it was over unhappiness in remuneration and other contract agreements, while some leaks indicated it was due to Kojima speaking ill about the company.
From the start, the interview focuses on life after Konami. It is only really on the 3rd page of the interview where one can see the actual appreciation that Kojima still has for Konami. The one thing he was really grateful for was that Konami usually let him develop what he wanted. He would walk in with a plan, budget estimate and time period for development and they would give him the immediate OK. He was also not bound by creative restrictions.
What I’m grateful to Konami for is that when I proposed something I wanted to make, they let me make it. Conversely, I wasn’t bound by them saying, ‘You need to do it like this.’ Because of that, I’m the person I am today.
Having said that, he quickly follows up by expressing that as development tools improve and the technological world changes, so too has this method of operation. Development and publishing companies can no longer operate this way and everything has to be done to strict guidelines.
While I am very surprised at this tone of appreciation, perhaps even thanks to Konami for where Kojima is today, there is another part of the article that I must just touch on. Kojima mentions how he believes copyright for games should belong to the creators and not the organisation:
Until now, the rights of movies, animation, games, etc. belonged to companies and organizations, but will this structure change? I think that I have to change it. I think copyright should belong to the person who made it. Both games and movies are the same, but the person who paid the cost (organization), that is, the person who is accepts the risk has copyright. However, I think that should change to 'creatorism'. If the people who change the zero to 1 do not soften, new creators will not show up. It will be easy for everyone to gain, and it will not be healthy that creatives will only be eligible for investment.
However, I think that the way of thinking about copyright may change. If you are already on the net now, individuals can deliver the work to individuals. The way we collect funds is changing. At this point you will not need a company as a copyright holder to bear the cost. There will be no need for companies and services to intervene between users and creators.
Now, how this may affect the gaming industry is debatable. For games like Silent Hill, for instance, it means Konami's hold on the rights effectively kills the game from being continued by the original developers. Conversely, it means that no one else can have a hand in developing it either.
It definitely gives one food for thought. What do you think? Do you agree that creators should rather keep the rights, or the publishing organisation?