Kojima Productions’ artist didn’t join Left Alive‘s dev team the usual way.
You might be familiar with Shinkawa’s work from Metal Gear Solid games, and that art style is making a return in Left Alive, where he works as a character designer. How did he end up with Square Enix, though? Shinji Hashimoto talked about this story to DualShockers:
„I’ve known Kojima-san for quite a while now, we’re of similar age, and I’ve been speaking to him for a long time. I think it’s been over ten years, and he is someone I respect a lot in the industry. Besides games, I’ve also been in charge of Square Enix’s merchandising division as well. I’m not involved in that at the moment, but I have been looking after our action figures for a long time. In addition to doing things for our properties like Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest, we also do some second-party figures. If there is a series that there have good characters out there, we want to help make them. We’ve done a lot of Metal Gear Solid figures, and, as part of that, we have worked with Kojima-san and Yoji Shinkawa himself for quite a while. I’ve built a relationship and trust with them.
When they went out on their own, we spoke, and I asked: “if you’ve got time and you’re free, maybe we can do something together.” Of course, coming with a sudden proposition and asking him to work on a game straight away would have been difficult, but since we had a long relationship going, it was easy to do. The timing worked out very well.”
DualShockers also asked Hashimoto about the possibility of Kojima joining them. The answer isn’t bad: „He’s very busy with his own game at the moment. I don’t think he’d have time to work on other projects. But like I said, we have an excellent relationship with him, and maybe we could discuss something in the future.”
Left Alive is currently in development for PlayStation 4 and PC, but it might show up on other platforms at a later date – Toshifumi Nabeshima, the game’s director, didn’t rule out something like an Xbox One version: „Our first mission now is to get the PC and PS4 versions released as well as they can be. Once that is done, we’re going to look into another possibility as well.”
Left Alive doesn’t have a release date at the moment, but Square Enix might announce it during Tokyo Game Show (or, at Sony’s pre-TGS event).