Daily Reaction: The End of an Era – Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
With the mounting news and details about Kojima parting ways from Konami, the reality that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain could be the final entry in the series is starting to settle in. Daily Reaction discusses what it could mean to see a cherished franchise that has been around since the early days of PlayStation come to an end, and what it could mean if this really was an elaborate hoax.
Dan: To be perfectly honest, I still don’t quite believe that Kojima is leaving Konami and that we will never be seeing the Metal Gear franchise again. Mostly because I really don’t want to think that something like this could happen, and given Kojima’s history, it is sometimes hard to take things at face value. His history of misdirecting fans and his ability to look outside of the norm is what really draws a number of fans to him, as it breaks the status quo of what fans can expect from a developer.
Looking at numerous events that led up to the announcement of Metal Gear Solid V, with the Joakim Mogren interviews and the odd events linking a real world doctor to the one that appeared in trailers for the game, there are just too many stunts to sure of anything at this point. In reality, it’s most likely that Kojima has left the studio, as business relations are a difficult endeavor and with the growing costs of development, there could only be growing pressure from both sides. But, given that Kojima has been recently attached to editing a trailer for the game, he is still involved at some level, which means not all ties have been broken, at least not yet.
Either way, the question about whether or not this will be the last Metal Gear title we see is an interesting one. But, even if Kojima is leaving Konami for a different studio, I highly doubt Konami will be letting the series go away anytime soon. With the amount of advertising and presence the series has, there is no way that they will let something with so much revenue potential slip away for any particular reason. Just by looking at the series over the last few years, we have been seeing attempts being made to utilize the brand in various ways and that is the biggest clue to the future of the series.
Even though Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance wasn’t quite up to par with the series name, it does open up the doors for the franchise to branch outside of its Solid moniker and let other developers play with the world and characters. Not every fan is going to be happy with any dilution of the brand, but given the amount of time each of the main games have taken to be produced, I can understand that Konami would do something to get more regular returns from the IP.
The reality of the situation we are being faced with is that we simply do not know what is going to happen to the series, and what is really going on behind the scenes at Konami. The only thing we can do is hope that no matter what the future holds, the industry takes note of what has made the series so great and learns a thing or two.
Chandler: It’s only a matter of weeks now before we potentially find out if the Konami drama has been a troll of epic proportions, which I have previously mentioned I wouldn’t put past Kojima. The problem is that it’s gotten even more out of hand than we could have ever imagined. Is Kojima capable of such influence within the industry? Sadly, while Kojima has an amazing amount of pull and is famous for his deception and misdirection, I don’t think that even he is capable of impacting the perception of Konami’s entire business, or even piecing together a ruse within the medical community. Unless of course he is. In which case, Kojima just made history.
However, like Dan said, that’s not necessarily what we are here to talk about, and as much as I want the troll, the deception, and the cleverness of Kojima to rise to astronomical proportions and blow us all out of the water when The Phantom Pain release, I don’t have high hopes that’s the case. So what if Metal Gear Solid V is the final Metal Gear game? Perhaps the better question is “What if Metal Gear Solid V is Kojima’s last Metal Gear game?” which it could very likely be. Kojima is not likely to be part of the Konami equation anymore, while the rights to Metal Gear will remain in the hands of a company who is happy to use Snake’s smug face for a pachinko machine.
Metal Gear will continue to live on, whether it be through gambling machines, mobile games, offshoots, or just continuing the franchise without the brainchild behind the operation. With Metal Gear Solid V, we are likely getting the full bridge between all previous Metal Gear games. This one is the missing link between the Big Boss as the hero we know from Metal Gear Solid 3 and Peace Walker, to his cloned son Solid Snake ending his life in the original Metal Gear (which of course we find out not to actually be the case in the end of Metal Gear Solid 4, but you get the point I am trying to make here).
If you haven’t followed the complete saga of Metal Gear, you’re probably extremely lost right now, and even if you have, you probably still have a million questions zipping around, but this is why Metal Gear Solid V is the perfect one for Kojima to leave off on. This period of time is the final major hole in the series’ narrative, and those elusive questions will likely be answered, or at least we can hope for enough pieces of the puzzle to put things together ourselves.
What I will miss the most is Kojima’s amazing, yet atypical, ways of making games, breaking the fourth wall, and inserting amazing Easter eggs into his games. He’s a master of the craft, and any further Metal Gear games without the unconventional boss fights and limitless secrets just won’t be the same Metal Gear. It’s not looking too good that Kojima will be continuing Snake’s saga, but at least he’s brought us full circle to a little MSX2 game we were graced with just over 28 years ago, and the closing of a legacy nearly three decades in the making. It’s the end of an era indeed.
Do you think this will be Kojima’s last Metal Gear game? Will lies ahead for the franchise? Let us know in the comments below, email us at [email protected] or check us out on Twitter @Foolsjoker and @Finchstrife.