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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain  




The problem with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' price photo
The problem with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes' price

2:00 PM on 02.05.2014

To hold investors over, not fans


I don't think I've ever complained a game was too short. Except Persona 4: Golden. I could have played that for another 400 hours. And I've always laughed at the ridiculous price per hour breakdown some Internet goers abide by. I found Thirty Flights of Loving to be more complete feeling in its 15 minute run time than many 15 hour games I've slogged through.

But the wild world of variable pricing models, downloads, and paying for games that don't even exist yet has complicated my more generalized, "price doesn't matter," and "quality over quantity" stance.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes -- a short prologue to the full Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain -- will cost anywhere from $20 to $40. That's problematic.

[Image]

Konami's line is that it wants to "to ease players into the new open world environment and its potential" and "to introduce key elements, while setting up the events of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain."

You know what game did that? Metal Gear Solid 2, which had a prologue sequence. Without this sort of pricing model. You know what other games did that? Most of them. That's how games work, generally. They start and you play them and are introduced to them and then are introduced to more things.

I know Metal Gear Solid fans, for the most part, are fine with getting a little taste of Metal Gear now rather than waiting until 2015. That's fine. That's their (or your -- maybe even my!) prerogative. But to frame this as anything but a business decision, as Konami tried to do above, is insincere.

Phantom Pain production is clearly expensive. Keifer Sutherland doesn't come cheap, especially when everyone's tripping over themselves to watch that silly 24 show again. It's going to release in 2015 for what will partially be packed away consoles (PS3, 360) and the new hotness (PS4, Xbox One), the latter of which will have much more competition (and possibly less fervor) than it does now. It makes sense to release a "fun size" prologue, with little else tickling "next-gen" users, and reap the dough.

So what's the problem? Well, for one, they're getting us coming and going, because The Phantom Pain will likely be a full priced game ($60 in the US, worse elsewhere). If you buy a physical, next-gen copy new, plus Phantom Pain, Konami has convinced you to pay $100 (plus tax; about $110 for me) for Metal Gear Solid V.

Of course there's the "don't buy it" argument, but people will, and that's how precedent gets set, in the same way we all blithely assumed "next-gen" development subsidization when games went from $50 to $60 (yes, SNES-era games were often more expensive -- but we got it down to a cheaper standard, then willingly abandoned it).

The point is that if large companies can dump more costs on -- or make more money from -- consumers, they will, as evidenced with all the anti-consumer practices of the last five years. Horse armor, online passes, et al. I'm lenient on well-priced episodic adventures, but generally I don't want piecemeal games.

It's nice that that the PS3 and 360 versions are $10 cheaper ($20 download, $30 retail), provided that you want to play the PS3/360 follow up a year and a half from now rather than the "better" version, or don't care about save file interaction.

But what about the average consumer? I know the game news reading bourgeois doesn't always want to care about the average consumer, but consider the money Konami will make solely off of people who don't know they're getting an itty bitty prologue. Metal Gear Solid is a big name. And of course you'll want the next-gen version -- again, what else are the 8 million or so people with PS4s and Xbox Ones playing?

The ones that don't read Destructoid aren't waiting on The Witness. But show them a big name franchise that looks gorgeous (and the prologue is probably very good and fun, all that said) and Konami will make their money. I don't think the back of the box or the download page is going to warn, "Hey, the main story here is under two hours, and you can tack on a few more doing side stuff." At least Gran Turismo 5 put "Prologue" in its title, however nebulous.

Maybe I worry too much. Maybe this isn't a harbinger of offloading even more costs on consumers (as if $60 for a brand new game wasn't enough). Maybe this was a financial necessity for a pricey or somewhat mismanaged project. Maybe Konami will even give Ground Zeroes owners a Phantom Pain discount (hah). Maybe you're just really excited to play Metal Gear and look at Snake's pert butt. At any rate, 





We tried to get Konami to comment on Kojima's departure photo


Konami working on a new, likely Kojima-free Metal Gear photo


Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain photo


More details on transferring data between MGSV: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain photo


That Metal Gear Online trailer is still so dang good photo


Metal Gear Solid V launch details confirmed, Collector's Edition unveiled photo


Let's take September off to play Metal Gear Solid V photo


Here's a closer look at the Metal Gear Solid V chicken hat photo


Metal Gear Solid V will have a chicken hat that makes the game easier photo


MGSV: The Phantom Pain's online mode will debut at The Game Awards photo


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Updates, Screenshots, & Videos







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timeline following:
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain



8:00 PM on 03.21.2015
We tried to get Konami to comment on Kojima's departure

Earlier this week, rumors of Hideo Kojima leaving both Konami and the Metal Gear series surfaced, thanks to a report from GameSpot. Not to be undone by excellent reporting from The 2nd Street Jerks (The 2nd Street Jerks is a...more



12:30 PM on 03.20.2015
Konami working on a new, likely Kojima-free Metal Gear

Konami's website has the first indications of Metal Gear Solid continuing without series creator Hideo Kojima. This note from Konami confirms Kojima will "remain involved throughout" Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain's Septe...more



2:00 PM on 03.19.2015
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima expected to split with Konami after The Phantom Pain

"After we finish [Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain], Mr. Kojima and upper management will leave Konami," a source within Kojima Productions told GameSpot today amidst speculation that some real crazy shit is happening at ...more



4:00 AM on 03.16.2015
More details on transferring data between MGSV: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain

Konami has released a bit more info on what will be involved in transferring data from Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Unfortunately, you can't use data from any version of Ground Zeroes for any version of The Phantom Pain. However, Konami made a handy chart to help us out.more



7:30 PM on 03.04.2015
That Metal Gear Online trailer is still so dang good

Steven covered this well-edited footage of Metal Gear Online in December, but here it is again with commentary by online community manager Robert Peeler. Yep, that's good enough for me. The balloon-firing trap shown at 1:54 is the stuff of dreams. Same goes for the enchanting plush puppy. (At one point it was going to be a "real" dog, but the designers didn't want us to shoot that.)more



8:23 AM on 03.04.2015
Metal Gear Solid V launch details confirmed, Collector's Edition unveiled

After a leak involving the release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Konami has confirmed the date this morning -- September 1, 2015 (September 15 for Steam), with a few other details in tow. Metal Gear Onli...more



11:45 AM on 03.03.2015
Let's take September off to play Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will release worldwide on September 1, 2015. The news is attached to an IGN video that was supposed to go up tomorrow, but NeoGAF found a working URL for the it earlier today. NeoGAF sees ...more



11:30 AM on 01.12.2015
Here's a closer look at the Metal Gear Solid V chicken hat

Konami announced recently that Metal Gear Solid V will have a special item when it launches later this year (?) -- the chicken hat. It will appear after multiple deaths, and if you pick it up, it makes the game easier. T...more



7:00 PM on 01.02.2015
Metal Gear Solid V will have a chicken hat that makes the game easier

In a recent three hour stream of Metal Gear Solid V, there was one particular tidbit that might have passed some people over -- the Chicken Hat. Apparently when Phantom Pain drops there will be a special hat that allows...more



8:30 PM on 11.26.2014
MGSV: The Phantom Pain's online mode will debut at The Game Awards

Next week is looking to be a pretty exciting time for gaming. With The Game Awards showing off world premieres of upcoming titles, and the PlayStation Experience doing the same, it's definitely going to be a busy and eventful...more




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Review: Paperbound

I don't think I'll ever get tired of arena battle games. I can see myself as a grandfather one day, playing my favorite character in a future iteration of Super Smash Bros., reminiscing with my progeny about how great th...more



11:01 AM on 03.31.2015
Travel to India and Russia in future episodes of Assassin's Creed Chronicles this fall

Recently, I got to go hands-on with Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China. For this downloadable title, Ubisoft redesigned the AC experience to fit within a 2.5D perspective. With China releasing next month, players will finally...more



11:00 AM on 03.31.2015
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China gives the series a fresh perspective

It's not often we see a major player in the big leagues of yearly releases reinvent itself in a more modest and distinct way. With Assassin's Creed titles expected every year, it's been a bit of a challenge for Ubisoft to kee...more



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