Konami announces the first Metal Gear Solid game announced after creator Hideo Kojima’s departure from the series — and fans aren’t happy.
When Hideo Kojima cut ties with Konami as the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was coming to a close, fans were rightfully worried about the future of the series. Now, the studio has announced a new Metal Gear Solid project, and it’s far from an ideal continuation of the series.
It seems that Konami is planning to revisit Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, considered by many to be the best game in the series. However, we’re not getting a continuation of Snake’s Cold War exploits or even a HD remaster — the studio is prepping a pachinko game based on the title.
For the uninitiated, pachinko is a type of arcade game that blends the unpredictable nature of pinball with the low-stakes gambling of a slot machine. Pachinko units are incredibly popular in Japan, and often use characters and theming from established media franchises to lure in players.
Of course, to some extent it’s not a surprise to see Konami making full use of its IP in this way. Last year, the company confirmed its plans to de-prioritize console development and concentrate on other platforms like mobile devices.
Indeed, in late 2015 Konami registered a trademark for ‘Big Boss’ via its pachinko-focussed subsidiary. Back then it seemed clear that the studio intended to use Metal Gear branding for casual games, but teases ahead of yesterday’s reveal suggested that we might be getting something more substantial.
The same players who were engrossed by The Phantom Pain and previous games in the series are not likely to find much to enjoy in a pachinko game based on the franchise. If this kind of release is truly the future of the Metal Gear Solid series, plenty of fans are going to be very disappointed.
That being said, there are major questions about whether there’s a better alternative given that Kojima has flown the coop. Without the visionary director at the helm of a new game, most fans would perhaps rather see the series retired than suffer inferior sequels without his authorial guidance.
Metal Gear Solid will seemingly live on even despite the feud between Konami and Kojima — but enduring as a pachinko game is something of an undignified fate for one of the most popular and most progressive franchises in all of video games.