It's not the first time that Hideo Kojima has shared the sentiment that he dislikes being known as "the Metal Gear guy." In fact, it typically comes right when he's neck deep in a new Metal Gear project. By the time the project is over and another Metal Gear game is being discussed in Kojima Productions' board room, Kojima can't help but be involved once more. Since 1987 Kojima has directed 16 different Metal Gear games.
This time, however, Kojima seems to have his escape from Metal Gear a little more planned than usual:
"I’ve always said that I want to work on original properties, but Metal Gear offers plenty of benefits. The Fox Engine, for example, took a lot of time and money [to create]; we were only able to develop it because it was intended for the next Metal Gear. In the next game, I’m introducing concepts intended for entirely new intellectual properties using the Metal Gear brand."
In other words, the new Metal Gear game that we saw demo'd in Ground Zeroes is quite literally Kojima's key to freedom. Developing the title perhaps most importantly garnered the funding to create an entirely new next-gen engine, and Kojima makes it sound like the game itself will implement some concepts he's fine tuning for his next game (Project Ogre?).
I don't doubt that despite his plans for the future, Kojima is dedicating himself 100% to his new Metal Gear game. Still, it's rather sad to hear that the director of one of my favorite franchises wants to grow beyond it. If you have to choose a franchise to leave as your legacy, you could do worse than Metal Gear. It's good though, at the same time, that Kojima's aspirations ever grow larger.
"I haven’t really shown the world what else I might be capable of yet. This may sound pretentious, but I don’t like being thought of as ‘the Metal Gear guy.’ There’s a lot more I can do."