Metal Gear Solid fans, take note. Hideo Kojima has shared some new details on the development of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes.
For those who don’t remember Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was a somewhat controversial release. After Metal Gear fans were conditioned to expect ten+ hour epics, Konami suddenly released a very brief game, that isn’t even that much bigger than the average Metal Gear level. It was also priced at $ 29.99, and even the most ardent fans objected to the steep price.
Later, Konami released Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain as a single 45+ hour game at $ 59.99.
So, even with Hideo Kojima still at the helm, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was widely considered a mistake and an oddity in the canon of the franchise. Later, Konami would put Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes on frequent sales, and bundles alongside Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
On the nine year anniversary of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes’ release, he tweeted that it was an “important introductory part for rooting Snake (player)’s vengeful spirit in the main story. MGSV’s theme is retaliation. Since the PS4 was launched at the end of 2013, we introduced the new MGS with PS4 x FOX engine x open world and released it in advance with feedback to the main story in mind.”
With that lead up, we would learn what Kojima meant by Konami looking for feedback in advance of what would be the main game.
As reported by The Gamer, Kojima tweeted this more recently, quote tweeting the above statement:
“Actually, I had a big intention for the release of GZ. The development of a full game takes an enormous amount of time, four to five years. Times change during production. Therefore, we thought of providing an episodic method like a stream drama. Produce one episode and distribute it. Distribute episodes 2 and 3 while giving feedback. GZ was also meant for that experiment.”
So, we could have gotten a completely different Metal Gear Solid V than what we actually received. In fact, what Kojima was going for wasn’t particularly unique or groundbreaking. Episodic releases for video games were popularized by The Walking Dead, the narrative adventure game that put Telltale Games on the map. This released two years before Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, so Kojima seemed hopeful that fans would be accepting of the idea.
But the thing is, Telltale charged $ 5 per episode of The Walking Dead, not $ 30. Maybe Kojima felt that each chapter was worth a lot more money than $ 5, given how much money and effort was put into them, but he and Konami should have moved closer there than charging twice the price of a full retail game.
Similarly, when Capcom sold Resident Evil Revelations 2, they sold the game at $ 5.99 per episode. Konami and Kojima were clearly on the wrong side of this at the time, and given that Kojima hadn’t tried episodic gaming since, it may have been his mistake. But perhaps, Kojima tweeting about his plans and regrets now indicates that he could have learned something from this experience.