After years of worrying that the Metal Gear franchise may be stuck in development limbo for eternity, fans of the iconic stealth-action series have been overwhelmed with good news over the past few months. Not only has Konami confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain is indeed on its way, but the company has also confirmed that a prologue of sorts, Ground Zeroes, will arrive this month (tomorrow, actually).
Although we know that Ground Zeroes is right around the corner (and that fans will likely tear through the entire game in just a few hours), up until this point we’ve been in the dark about when we could expect the release of The Phantom Pain. Thanks to the sharp eyes of Reddit user Hitzkolpf, we may now be able to narrow down our guesses for a release date.
Hitzkolpf noticed that after registering a copy of Ground Zeroes, users receive a message that recommends returning in early 2015 to receive bonus DLC that many fans are assuming is for the follow-up game, The Phantom Pain.
It seems like a bit of a leap to assume that this DLC is intended for The Phantom Pain, but rumors suggest that the add-on content will allow players to use the mercenaries successfully rescued in Ground Zeroes as troops in The Phantom Pain. If that’s the case, then the early 2015 date would likely have to coincide with The Phantom Pain’s launch.
Hideo Kojima, the franchise’s director/creator, had previously warned the community not to expect the the game anytime soon, so just a year out may actually sound like good news to eager fans. A large part of the delay is due to the massive scale of the upcoming installment in Snake’s adventures. According to Kojima, The Phantom Pain should be around 200 times the size of Ground Zeroes.
There hasn’t been any official word from Konami confirming the release date, so at this point we’re still in the realm of rumors and speculation. Although it would be amazing to get our hands on The Phantom Pain in time for the 2014 holiday season, that hope just seems unrealistic at this point. If the game is aiming for an early 2015 launch, it looks like we all know how we’ll be spending our late winter next year.
Do you think The Phantom Pain will actually arrive in early 2015 or are you trying not to get your hopes up until Konami makes it official?
Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes releases on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4 on March 18, 2014. There is currently no official release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
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