While Metal Gear Solid 4 looks set to take the video gaming world by storm, Hideo Kojima is lamenting the fact that Japan is no longer "molding the world's gaming industry."

Yesterday, Konami held a press conference confirming that development on Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots had concluded and that the game has gone gold. Series creator Hideo Kojima took the stage and talked about the game's development and how pleased he is with how it has turned out. He also made some comments about overall trends in the industry towards casual games and, in general, how the industry is no longer steered by Japan.

"Casual games have become mainstream in the industry," declared Kojima. "It's not just a Japanese phenomenon but also something that's happening worldwide. There are new markets and possibilities opening up thanks to the trend, which is great. But on the other hand, we shouldn't forget about the hardcore gamers whose lives are about videogames.

The gamers who consider video games a subculture, and enjoy taking their time to sit down and play games that gives them energy and courage. I wanted to remind those gamers about the fun of video games. I know that we're going against the trend, but we've been working hard for the past four years so that the fire [of non-casual games] won't blow out."

"I believe that video games are a form of synthesized art that evolves by adapting new technologies," continued Kojima. "It's a business, so there are difficult decisions, but when you think about the future of video games, I think that you need to take some risks to move on forward. Once you halt, it's really hard to go [back on track] and take steps forward.

Unfortunately, overseas game production companies, which are well-funded and extremely skilled, have surpassed us by a couple of steps. It was once said that Japan molded the world's video game [industry], but that's becoming a thing of the past. Sad as it may be, it's the truth."

"We developed MGS4 for fans that love Metal Gear. But at the same time, I was creating it with some hopes to stir a revival of [non-casual] videogames," he added.

Lending some evidence to these occidental development trends is the fact that Konami's Contra 4 and the last two Silent Hill games have all been developed by studios in the West. Shigeru Miyamoto also recently praised independent developers in the United States.

Thanks to GameSpot for the transcription.

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