Speaking with IGN, Hideo Kojima said he’s not interested in making another horror game after the success of his P.T. demo and the subsequent cancellation of the larger game it was to represent, Silent Hills.
Simply put, Kojima says he gets too afraid.
“I get scared very easily,” he confided. “Actually, this is true of Alfred Hitchcock as well as Steven Spielberg. Because they scare easily, because I scare easily, it’s actually easy for us to make something that is scary, because we understand what is scary.
“But while in that process, we’re constantly imagining, like, terrifying situations so it ends up giving me bad dreams. That’s the reason why I don’t want to make a horror game.”
It makes sense that someone who scares easily knows what is scary.
“I think the most effective way to scare someone is to show them something that’s slightly out of the ordinary,” he continued. “Slightly off, but at first glance, they don’t know what it is about it that is unusual. When you do something like this, it confuses the mind, and that becomes unnerving for the person who sees it.
“Also, the unknown. When there’s no information available for something, it’s more frightening. An example would be a bungee jump. If you’ve done it more than one time, it’s never as scary as the first time. Something that no one has any preconceptions about is the scariest thing.”
Kojima considers Ridley Scott’s Alien the perfect example of something that shows the unknown and the unnerving.
“Everyone knows the design [of the xenomorph] now, the famous design by H.R. Giger, but in the original movie, you don’t see it for most of the movie. You just see, like, quick cuts and little pieces, so you don’t know the shape. You don’t know the exact size. Until you see it at the end, and it’s like ‘oh, it’s shaped like a person. Somebody is wearing, like, an outfit, like a mascot.’ So it’s not scary at that point, but until that point, because it’s this unknown entity. It’s very scary.”
Kojima had paired with film director Guillermo del Toro and actor Norman Reedus to create the horrific Silent Hills for Konami. A playable demo, P.T., was released to the public, but a fallout between the developer and the publisher meant we’ll never see Silent Hills. Kojima’s upcoming work, Death Stranding, will star del Toro, though the director is not attached to the project in any other way. Death Stranding is expected on PS4.