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GI Show 240: Bloodborne, Kojima And Konami’s Messy Metal Gear Divorce

This week we break down From Software's Bloodborne, and discuss the fallout of the divorce between Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and Konami.

In the first segment, host Matt Helgeson talks Bloodborne with Dan Tack, who gave the game a 9.75, and Tim Turi. Both of them sing the virtues of the game, which gives a new, more fast-paced spin on the challenging action/RPG combat that From Software perfected in the Dark Souls series.

In the second segment, we have a long discussion regarding the recent soap opera between Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami. Their partnership dates back over three decades, but now it seems that Kojima will be leaving the company, and the Metal Gear franchise, behind following the completion of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phanton Pain. It's definitely going to be the end of an era, and we contemplate what it all means.

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Konami ‘Resolved To Develop New Metal Gear Title’

Update: Following over a day of confusion regarding Metal Gear Solid V, Hideo Kojima’s role at Konami, and the mysterious removal of his name from series box art, more information is available. The publisher and developer have released a joint statement to reassure fans.

The statement simply addresses Kojima’s role on the project, though it’s the first time a statement has been attributed to him.

To Customers,

Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.

The latest title in the METAL GEAR series,“METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.

Hideo Kojima stated, "I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!"

In addition, KONAMI will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.

As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop new “METAL GEAR”.

We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.

Original story:

Earlier this month, Konami and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima announced the release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In the context of that announcement, Kojima repeated that this will be his last entry in the series, a sentiment we’ve heard from him numerous times.

“I always say this will be my last Metal Gear, but the games in the series I’ve personally designed and produced: Metal Gear on MSX, Metal Gear 2, Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, 3, 4, and Peace Walker, and now Metal Gear Solid V are what constitute a single Metal Gear saga,” he said in a video statement. “With Metal Gear Solid V, I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final Metal Gear Solid. Even if the Metal Gear franchise continues, to me, this is the last Metal Gear.”

Today, Konami issued a statement on the future of the Metal Gear franchise following the curious removal of Kojima’s name from box art images on the publisher’s website. The comment reaffirms the September 1 release date for The Phantom Pain and Kojima’s involvement “throughout” the remainder of the process.

“In addition, Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the Metal Gear series following ‘MGSV: TPP,’” the company writes. We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for Metal Gear. As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop a new ‘Metal Gear’ title.”

The “audition” process is under way, it seems. Konami has posted a job listing for “New Metal Gear” staff. The company lists the following qualifications for the post:

  • Experience in high-end game development, planning, etc.
  • Boundless imagination, and the capacity for exciting new ideas
  • A strong passion toward game creation
  • The communication skills to effectively communicate your ideas 

Konami has yet to address questions regarding the removal of Kojima’s name from the Legacy of Metal Gear, Ground Zeroes, and The Phantom Pain box art. The publisher also declined to respond to our questions regarding Kojima’s status as a “content officer” of the corporation. 

[Source: Konami (1), (2) via Siliconera]

 

Our Take
While there might be temptation to draw a solid line between yesterday’s strange details and the news that Konami is hiring, we urge caution in leaping to conclusions beyond the facts. Here is what we do know:

  • Kojima has stated he is leaving the Metal Gear series behind. We’ve heard it before, but it seems to be true this time. For now. Kojima is the Brett Favre of gaming, after all.
  • Konami doesn’t have many established franchises left in its digital entertainment area, and losing Metal Gear would be a blow to that segment of the company (which is certainly not its only focus, as the company has interests in health and fitness, gambling, and more).
  • Today’s statement is likely in direct response to Internet furor (external forces) rather than a planned internal move. In other words, Konami’s hand was forced.
  • Other rumors are swirling about turmoil at Konami, but have yet to be verified by two independent sources.

We’re continuing to follow this story, vet details, and present facts as we know them. This story is unfolding (albeit quite strangely), and Konami’s silence on Kojima’s position with the corporation isn’t helping quell concern from fans. We’ll update as more information is available.

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Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Announcement Coming Wednesday

Konami is teasing an announcement for its upcoming release of Metal Gear Solid V. The publisher posted a countdown on the game’s official site, with nary a hint about just what will be revealed.

The timer expires on Wednesday, March 4 at 6 a.m. Pacific / 9 a.m. Eastern. Coincidentally, that’s also the tenth anniversary of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater’s release in Europe. That title, named by many as the best in the series, was first released on PlayStation 2 in North America on November 17, 2004.

We’ll have more on Wednesday morning. For more on Metal Gear Solid V, check out our coverage hub from March 2014.

[Source: Konami]

 

Our Take
My guess is that we’ll finally have a release date for Metal Gear Solid V. It’s been a long time coming.

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Life Is Stranger When Set To The Metal Gear Solid 3 Theme Song

Ladders have been a factor in gaming since the days of Donkey Kong and BurgerTime, but it wasn’t until Metal Gear Solid 3 that they really started to pop. One of the most iconic scenes of the PlayStation 2 era featured Naked Snake wearily ascending what seems like a miles-long ladder.

Now, the super soldier has competition. YouTube user Nick Robinson has taken Cynthia Harrell’s performance of Snake Eater, the  title song from Metal Gear Solid 3, and set it against something a bit more mundane.

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The scene in the video above is from Dontnod’s recently released Life is Strange. In the game, protagonist Max can rewind time to change events. In this case, Robinson rewound time to give us a thrill.

For more on Life is Strange, check out our review. You can also check out the game in action in our Test Chamber.

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Hideo Kojima Denies Metal Gear Rising 2 Tease

Hideo Kojima and Konami producer Ken-ichiro Imaizumi are denying what appeared to be a tease for Metal Gear Rising 2 during the Taipei Game Show.

Kojima and Imaizumi, by way of Geoff Keighley as seen in the tweet above, say it was not a Metal Gear Rising 2 tease. To see the non-tease yourself, head here.

[Source: @geoffkeighley]

 

Our Take
Hideo Kojima is a crafty, unpredictable marketer. He fooled everyone into thinking Metal Gear Solid 2 starred Solid Snake and recently announced he was working on a Silent Hill game by making everyone download and play a demo. It's hard to take him seriously in matters like this. You could also take a semantics argument route and point out that he didn't say Metal Gear Rising 2 isn't in development – he just says it wasn't a tease.

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Reader Discussion: Is Metal Gear Rising 2 In Development?

After a tease yesterday and a denial from Kojima today, it's unclear if Metal Gear Rising 2 is in development – but with Kojima involved, things are never clear. What do you think?

Kojima fooled everyone into thinking Solid Snake was the star of Metal Gear Solid 2, made us think Solid Snake was going to kill himself in Metal Gear Solid 4, denied The Phantom Pain was a Metal Gear game, and then there was the whole P.T. actually being a Silent Hill game situation. With Kojima involved, it's never clear exactly what is happening, which is part of why following his announcements is so exciting.

Taking all this into account, what do you think is going on with Metal Gear Rising 2? Does it exist? Or is it truly not in development as Kojima is implying?

For our review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, head here.

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Metal Gear Rising 2 Teased At Taipei Game Show

It's a blink-and-you-miss-it tease, but it looks like Metal Gear Rising 2 may be in development for PlayStation 4.

Appearing during part of Taipei Game Show's live stream (not to be confused with Tokyo Game Show, which shares the same acronym), the image you see above flashed quickly during a montage of upcoming PlayStation games. During an The Order: 1886 clip where the team is counting down for a payload drop, during the number two, a number two with the Metal Gear Rising font flashed on screen.

You can see the tease yourself by checking out the stream here and jumping to around the 2:46 mark. For our review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, head here.

[Source: TGS Live on Twitch, via NeoGAF, vg247]

Thanks to Aaron Quixote for the news tip!

 

Our Take
This certainly feels like a Hideo Kojima-flavored tease. I can't think of much else it could possible be. Maybe we will find out more at E3.

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Metal Gear Solid Smart Watch Theme Will Make You Feel Like It’s 2005

A special codec theme for the Moto 360 smart watch makes it look like it's from the future – until you remember Metal Gear Solid takes place in 2005.

It's a great argument for why smart watches are cool, as long as people can't interrupt your day to add excessive exposition about your surroundings or your mission. You can download the theme so you can always have Solid Snake staring at you from your wrist by heading here.

[Source: Skittleguy, via Technabob, Destructoid]

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Modders Place Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes In The First-Person

Metal Gear Solid has always flirted with first-person controls. You've been able to enter the first-person to fire your weapon since Metal Gear Solid 2, and there was even the weird Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer that teased the game being first-person in its opening minutes. To actually play a whole Metal Gear game in first-person, however, has never been an option – until now.

Modders have taken the PC version of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and incorporated first-person shooter controls with success. You can see the mod in action below, which isn't perfect, but does offer a Metal Gear experience we've never really seen before.

If you want to grab and install the mod yourself, you can head here.

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For our review of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, head here. You can also click the banner below for more on Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.

[Source: BenBlatcher on YouTube, via NeoGAF, Kotaku]

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Chicken out, take the easy route in Metal Gear Solid 5

Being scared in a war zone? Totally understandable! We can think of plenty of things that are more relaxing than persevering through fields of soldiers, artillery and landmines. So should Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain’s threats stress you out,…
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