Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game was revealed back in 2018. Initially due to be released in 2019, the game suffered several delays before publisher IDW Games decided to pull the plug on the project at the end of 2020. In a post on BoardGameGeek, creator Emerson Matsuuchi explained he’s looking at other options to keep the game alive but can’t guarantee his success.
IDW Games decided “not to move forward” with the board game back in December despite development being on the “last leg”. The game’s creator tried several options to continue with development, including investing money into the project from his own company, Nazca Games, and buying out IGW’s interest in the game. None of these were successful. Since then, Matsuuchi has managed to regain the rights to the game’s design from IGW but still has to work with Konami to obtain the necessary licensing.
The game was delayed from its initial 2019 release date to summer 2020 while the team implemented changes suggested during testing. Despite nearing the finishing line, the game was then delayed again until 2021 while the team added extra polish, but then Covid-19 took its toll. In a statement to customers who pre-ordered the game, IGW blamed “obstacles with manufacturing timelines, pricing surges, and shipping ports shutting down” for creating an “extremely challenging” to create board games. The result was they “made the difficult decision” to cancel the game.
First announced in 2018, the co-op game aimed to retell the story of Metal Gear Solid through playable characters Solid Snake, Meryl Silverburg, Dr. Hal Emmerich, and Gray Fox. Each character would have their own skills to help them avoid detection, and the game’s core stealth mechanics would have been available, including the cardboard box. The sandbox missions would have given multiple ways to complete them.
Whether players will ever be able to have their own cardboard box miniature now depends on whether Matsuuchi will be successful in his bid for licensing rights. The creator is “working to keep this project alive and exploring possible options”. Despite there being “no guarantees that our efforts will bear fruit”, he remains optimistic that the game will one day be released to its waiting fans.