Those anticipating the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain have had a stressful time as of late, thanks to the now-strained relationship between series creator Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami.
Kojima is being phased out of working with Konami, with his name having been previously removed from the marketing materials for not just the new game, but the older Metal Gear Solid titles as well. Perhaps realizing that Kojima is synonymous with the Metal Gear Solid franchise, and not wanting to deal with the backlash from fans, Konami has since returned the legendary developer's name to the franchise he made the phenomenon it is today.
Furthermore, the popular video series Kojima Station, was abruptly suspended. There is no return date in sight for the series, and it doesn't appear that it will be restored, unlike Kojima's name.
Amidst this controversy, voice actors working on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain claimed that Kojima was actually outright fired by Konami. Regardless of this, both Konami and Kojima have insisted that Kojima and his team will stick around long enough to at least finish Metal Gear Solid 5.
After this string of bad news, a positive piece of information for Metal Gear Solid 5 has been revealed. The full player counts for the online multiplayer component in the game, entitled Metal Gear Online as usual, have been revealed, thanks to a translation of the official Japanese website for the game.
The current-gen versions of the game will allow up to 16 players to battle in the high octane, stealth-oriented battles. Meanwhile, the last-gen versions (PS3 and Xbox 360) will have lower player counts, but will still allow up to 12 players to play in a single game.
In the meantime, Metal Gear Online will allow players to use a variety of different skins when playing, including generic mercenaries, Ocelot, Snake, and more to be announced. The gameplay demo shown at The Game Awards revealed a variety of gadgets in play as well, including invisibility devices, mechs, and a cute puppy that can be deployed to distract opponents.
By necessity, there's been a lot of guess work as to what exactly Metal Gear Online will entail. The video shown at The Game Awards did not give too many specifics, but it did offer a general idea of what this multiplayer component will be like once the game hits store shelves. In fact, these player counts represent some of the first truly concrete pieces of information regarding the game mode.
As the release date for Metal Gear Solid 5 edges closer, expect a fully detailed reveal of Metal Gear Online, probably around or at E3 in June. With Hideo Kojima and Konami on the outs, it will be interesting to see if Kojima is present at E3 to showcase the title and Metal Gear Online or not. In any case, Konami has indeed confirmed that with or without Kojima, the Metal Gear Solid franchise will continue.
Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release on September 1st for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC version comes a bit later, releasing on September 15th worldwide.