At Gamescom 2016, Konami announced a new Metal Gear spin-off title: Metal Gear Survive, coming in 2017 on PS4, XBOX One and PC. It will be an alternate story set in the Metal Gear universe (similar to Metal Gear Rising), and will revolve around survivors of MSF after Ground Zeroes being transported to an alternate dimension via wormholes, where they have to survive while fighting crystalized zombies. Yeah, it’s pretty silly.
But you know what? I’m positive about this announcement. It’s exactly the kind of thing I was hoping for. Konami may have screwed over Kojima, but they’re doing the right thing by distancing themselves from his story. They’re also doing the right thing by basing this new game off MGSV’s gameplay, which still has lots of potential. For instance, I was disappointed with the lack of co-op in The Phantom Pain, but that’s exactly what we’re getting in Survive.
I’m not gonna pretend like Konami have won me over with this, like they said they’re hoping to. They still have blood to pay back, and perhaps too much of it. But if there’s one thing they have proven, it’s that they’re capable of working off MGSV’s engine and create new content out of it. While we haven’t seen the gameplay of Survive, I’m pretty confident it will play exactly like MGSV (they’ve said it in interviews). And the trailer does prove that they can make cinematic cutscenes in the same style as MGSV. Apparently some of the developers from the original Kojima Productions are still at Konami, working on Metal Gear Survive.
This brings me to my main point: Does the announcement of Metal Gear Survive – and its obvious connections to MGSV – prove that Konami are capable of «finishing» MGSV? As we all know, Kojima left out at least one big story mission from The Phantom Pain: «Kingdom of the Flies». The story was written, the concepts were pitched, the environments were laid out, the cutscenes were animated on a basic level, and both the English and Japanese voice actors had recorded their lines. Aside from some polishing and gameplay additions, the mission is basically just a skinny person waiting to be fed (if you’ll excuse the strange analogy).
If Konami are capable of making a semi-blockbuster Metal Gear game from scratch using MGSV’s engine and mechanics, what’s keeping them from finishing the Kingdom of the Flies episode (or, if you want to get really farfetched, Chapter 3) and selling it as DLC?
As some of you may recall, I argued a while back that Kojima cut the mission intentionally, in order to tell a meta narrative about his mad devotion to leaving Konami (Eli killing Ralph to stir up the other children into leaving Diamond Dogs, is an analogy of Kojima cutting KOTF from MGSV to stir up his team to leave Konami). And while I still think my overall theory has some truth to it, I would like to point out that my theory about Ralph and KOTF may have been a coincidence, and I’m completely open to it not being part of the analogy. It’s just one possible explanation as to why the mission was so blatently cut.
Now, is it ethical to finish a story mission and sell it at a price tag? I think so, actually. You see, even with the cut content and unfinished story threads, I still think The Phantom Pain was worth both the wait and the $60 price tag. And that’s not me being a fanboy, since the ones who tend to complain about the cut content are usually Metal Gear fanboys. The Phantom Pain, as it is now (without the DLC that’s already there), is still packed with content that’s kept me playing – even now, a year after its release – for a total of 200 hours and counting.
So, if the price of this potential Kingdom of the Flies DLC isn’t over $10, I’d say it’s ethical. Of course, this could arouse suspicious that Konami forced Kojima to cut that part of the game, so they could sell it later in this way. And yeah, that would be messed up. But if that isn’t the case (it can’t be proven, so I’ll just assume it’s not), then I think it would be the right thing to do.
People are salivating for some closure on MGSV’s story (on Kojima’s terms, of course), and this would be the best way for Konami to win back the fans. After all, most people blame them for dishing out MGSV with an unfinished story. Releasing KOTF for free would seal the deal, but I think even a basic DLC at $10 or less would ease a lot of the animosity that fans have against them.
This brings me to this supposed «Metal Gear Solid V: Definitive Ex(perience?)», which many speculate is a bundle featuring both Ground Zeroes, The Phantom Pain and all the latter’s current DLC (not Survive though, since Definitive Ex seems to be slated for October 2016).
Assuming this bundle will only be that, it will probably go for about $50 dollars or so. But is it really worth it? Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain have both gotten numerous sales on all consoles, putting their combined prices at around $30 – $40 dollars. The only way for Konami to make this bundle work, would be to put the game at a $20 (maximum $30) price, which isn’t very common for big bundles such as this.
But if they released a Kingdom of the Flies DLC for $10 or so, and at the same time released Definitive Ex for $40 or even $50 dollars – including both MGSV games and all the DLC (with KOTF, of course) – it would be a huge success among both fans and newcomers (fans would tell their newcomer friends to buy Definitive Ex; I know I would).
Even Konami Japan aren’t blind enough to pass up a chance like this. Metal Gear fans worldwide are shouting loud and clear about the cut content. Konami have proven that they have a team of developers capable of making new MGSV experiences, they already have a script written by Kojima to work on, and they also seek easy and profitable ways to win over the Metal Gear community. The fans would love them for it, Kojima would probably appreciate it (assuming they stay true to his vision), and MGSV would feel way more like its own cohesive thing, rather than the weird and incoherent Peace Walker-MG1 story segway it is right now.