Hideo Kojima Nearly Quit Launching Metal Gear Solid 2 Following 9/11

Metal Gear Solid 2 is a classic and perhaps remains Hideo Kojima's magnum opus for its combination of tight gameplay and dizzying story that makes use of meta tricks and which made many accurate predictions. But originally, the game was to have a far more dramatic ending before it was canned owing to circumstances arising from real-world events.

The original Metal Gear Solid 2 ending featured a tanker crashing into Manhattan. But the game's maker decided to pull this scene out following the events of September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was destroyed in a terrorist attack. These events had a huge impact on Kojima and in a recent interview he went into more detail about how it affected him.

Speaking to IGN, Kojima revealed the stress and uncomfortable situation surrounding the impending release of Metal Gear Solid 2, which eventually launched on PlayStation 2 in November 2001. The game was scheduled to release that fall but following 9/11 the game's ending had to be swiftly changed. The hype and pressure of this massive release was cause of great worry to Kojima who was working for Konami at the time.

Kojima was in the throes of quitting Konami but a conversation between the developer and company chairman and founder Kagemasa Kozuki pulled him back. This followed 9/11 when Metal Gear Solid 2 had been mastered and already sent off, but the title featured the Twin Towers and the Pentagon.

"As I thought about what to do, I went to speak Mr. Kozuki about possibly quitting the company," Kojima says in the interview. "That's when he told me: 'When this game comes out and society has their say about it, they'll be talking about you, its creator, and me, the person who sold it. I doubt they'll say anything about anyone else. What will you do? I'm ready for whatever happens.'"

"When I heard how far he [Kozuki] was willing to go, I made the firm decision that we'd release it together. The rest is history," Kojima said.

In this story it seems the Konami founder is the hero with Kojima describing how much the chairman showed concern for him even as Kojima became sick with exhaustion as the game's development finished. It's an in depth interview featuring more revelations, such as how the Covid-19 pandemic pushed Kojima to rewrite Death Stranding 2, so do check it out over on IGN.

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