343 Industries designer David Ellis isn't too chuffed with Hideo Kojima's "erotic" - or as Kojima would now prefer to word it, "sexy" - Metal Gear Solid 5 character Quiet. Ellis took to Twitter to air his distaste yesterday, after Kojima released a close-up shot of said character's rear end, soliciting feedback on the design from cosplayers.
"I've been ordering to Yoji Shinkawa, character and environment artist for MGS V] to make the character more erotic, and he did it well," Kojima tweeted at the time. "Recently I've been making characters this way. I create the setting thoroughly, how he/she spent early life, name, style, favorite phrase, fashion, action to stand the character out. The initial target is to make u want to do cosplay or its figurine to sell well."
He later added: "the character I asked Yoji to make it more erotic, this one may not be cosplayable. What if no one would do Quiet cosplay at TGS even though giving the info...lol." Here's Ellis's response to that.
Don't care if this gets me in trouble. This character design is disgusting. Our industry should be better than this. http://t.co/4CCaF1qNEP— David Ellis (@DavidEllis) September 6, 2013
Industry full of man babies. Ugh.— David Ellis (@DavidEllis) September 6, 2013
@Grizzlei Eccentricity is a cute cover word for objectification and sexism.— David Ellis (@DavidEllis) September 6, 2013
@Grizzlei Sexuality can be used for purpose. I actually thought it worked in Bayonetta, for example. This feels lazy and exploitative.— David Ellis (@DavidEllis) September 6, 2013
Kojima has now commented further on the Quiet character, suggesting via a translator that "maybe the phrase 'erotic' wasn't really [the correct word for] what I was trying to say".
"What I'm really trying to do is create unique characters. One of those is, of course, Quiet. She's a really unique character, I wanted to add that sexiness to her. It wasn't really supposed to be erotic, but sexy."
For an English audience, "sexy" is obviously no less problematic than "erotic", but according to Yoji Shinkawa, it needn't be taken literally in the context. "Often I look at a weapon or a vehicle and think 'That's really sexy,'" he told Polygon. "It's not just the characters, but the mechs and weapons [as well.]"
Here's another shot of Quiet, released overnight. What do you think?