Konami is frequently in the habit of announcing that its latest Metal Gear Solid is to be its last, but this time it might actually be true. French gaming site GameBlog reports that no development is occurring on any level for a new Metal Gear Solid. GameBlog quoted an unnamed source who, if correct, has unequivocally confirmed the end of the franchise.
“No new Metal Gear is actually being prepared at any level whatsoever. Not even in pre-production, or in the planning stage. Nothing.”
Further to this, the only AAA title to remain in production for Konami is to be Pro-Evolution Soccer.
This is not only sad news for the huge legion of Metal Gear Solid fans, it seems counter-intuitive. Metal Gear Solid is one of Konami’s most popular franchises, and its latest instalment has drawn lavish praise from gamers and reviewers alike. Something about its convoluted storylines, its cornucopia of easter eggs and its sheer absurd comedy has created a hardcore of loyal and dedicated fans. Initial reviews of Metal Gear Solid V have been mostly positive, praising it for its depth and declaring its shift to open-world gameplay as a major evolution for the franchise. Gaming authority IGN waxed lyrical in its recent review, referring to the Metal Gear Solid experience as mind-blowing.
So why, with all this goodness going for it, would Konami cease production? A contributing factor might be the company’s generally fraught relationship with creator Hideo Kojima. In the latest installment, Konami removed all mention of Kojima from Metal Gear Solid boxes and branding. It would appear that Kojima got his own back by inserting his name in credits screens that gratuitously pop up at the end of every mission. But spats with Kojima have long been par for the course for Metal Gear Solid, so this doesn’t seem like sufficient reason to can one of their most successful and popular games.
What it might have more to do with is Konami’s announced intention to move away from console gaming altogether. According to the International Business Times, Konami has been looking very seriously at moving into the low-budget, high-return field of mobile and tablet gaming. This shift in focus has reportedly been sufficiently marked to result in the exit of their Worldwide Technology Director, Julien Merceron. It should be stressed that at this point, we’re dealing very much with rumors, but these particular rumors appear to have a much firmer basis than usual. If they prove true, and indications are that they will, Metal Gear Online’s January release may very well be the last Metal Gear Solid ever.
[Image via Konami]