David Hayter Reprises His Role as Solid Snake… In a Ford Advert

Ever since it was announced that Kiefer Sutherland would be taking over as Snake for Metal Gear Solid V, fans have been hoping that David Hayter would be allowed to return to the role. Now fans wishes have been granted, but perhaps not in the way the hoped or expected.

Hayter certainly seems to be getting back into playing the role of Solid Snake since MGS V, with just days ago, the fan project The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid, revealing that Hayter would be recording original voice lines as Snake for the VR experience. In this new advert released by Ford, we see Solid Snake and Colonel Campbell discussing the merits of the Ford Focus SE, with the Colonel telling Snake that it is “the perfect vehicle to drive around Shadow Moses Island.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPnTa1UJPEI

A second advert in the set sees a rehash of the Psycho Mantis conversation from Metal Gear Solid where instead of the player’s memory card, Mantis reads Snakes thoughts about his desire for a Ford Fusion Titanium.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4LUasFly0c

How fans will react to these returns of Snake is unknown, as while some may appreciate the nostalgia brought on by the MGS-style codec calls, it is likely that many see it as a shameful misuse of their beloved franchise by Konami. As for Hayter, he has been promoting the adverts himself on Twitter, declaring that “Snake is back.” Kojima has yet to release any kind of comment regarding the videos, though considering his departure from Konami and MGS being his franchise, it is easy to assume he wouldn’t be happy.

New Online Development Items Revealed for Metal Gear Solid V

Metal Gear Solid V is one of the biggest and best games in the series, sure the story is still as whacky as ever, but the action on offer is some of the finest we’ve seen from Konami in a long time. To keep the action going, the FOB mode of the game in continuing to develop and Konami has now released three new items that players will be able to develop online within the game.

Revealed on the game’s official website, the three new items are the D.Mine Marker and Cam Marking DVC, the non-lethal semi-automatic sniper rifle AM MRS-73 NL, the UA-Drone (Sleep), a general purpose UAV that can be used under the non-lethal security settings.

The good thing about these items is that they’re all under the online development settings, so when you start to develop them, they’ll continue to do so even when you’re not playing the game.

Higher-grade versions of the marking devices for configuring your own unique layout of cameras and landmines. Develop these to be able to place more of each around your bases!

D.MINE MARKER[★8]
CAM MARKING DVC.[★8]
In addition, the Cloaked in Silence expansion for Metal Gear Online 3 will be hitting the Japanese market on March 15th, but unfortunately, there is no official word on when we can expect to see it in America or the EU, but fingers crossed that it will launch on or around the same time.

AM MRS-73 NL[★8]
A Grade 8 non-lethal semi-automatic sniper rifle. Specify non-lethal, long-range weaponry in your FOB Security Settings to equip this to your guards and add some extra kick to your base defenses.

UA-DRONE(SLEEP)[★8]
A general-purpose UAV for use under the non-lethal security setting. Its onboard grenade launcher fires rounds loaded with sleep gas, to give any intruders an unexpected nap.

The new updates will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, as well as PC, so don’t worry, none of you will be missing out on the action.

Hideo Kojima Reunited With Silent Hills Star Norman Reedus

Hideo Kojima, having escaped the clutches of the dastardly Konami, followed up his exhaustive world tour – which took him from JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot studio, to Sony’s Visual Arts Service Group for a bit of motion capture, and the Quantic Dream studio in Paris, France – with an impromptu meeting with Norman Reedus, the star-to-be of Kojima’s and Guillermo del Toro’s aborted Silent Hills.

The meeting of the two will, of course, spark fresh rumours that Reedus, Kojima, and del Toro are set to reunite to fill the gap left by Silent Hills’ cancellation, especially since Kojima has recently set up his own studio. The Silent Hill intellectual property – plus the Fox Engine that was used to produce P.T., the Silent Hills teaser – are both the intellectual property of Konami, so any team-up of the three would produce an entirely new game. If the reaction to P.T. is anything to go by, though, it would surely be well-received.

In an interview with IGN last year, following the cancellation of Silent Hills, del Toro expressed his desire to work with Kojima again. “I love working with Kojima-san,” he said. “We are still in touch. We are still friends and working into doing something together, but that’s not going to be [Silent Hills].”

“We were in the planning stages, and it’s a shame it’s not going to happen,” del Toro added, lamenting the lost game. “We were talking about really pushing the boundaries of the new consoles, and making the game really mess with your head. One of the great moments in Metal Gear [Solid] was Psycho Mantis. The idea that a game can actually interact with you, and stuff like that.”

Kojima and del Toro are set to appear together at DICE Hall of Fame Awards on 18th February. Maybe we’ll get more hints about a future collaboration of the Silent Hills alumni then.

Cliff Bleszinski Declined Offer From Kojima to Help on Silent Hills

Silent Hills was a game that many fans of both the Silent Hill franchise and Kojima’s games were waiting for. Sadly the only thing ever to come out of the collaboration between game and film directors Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro was the demo PT before the relationship between Kojima and his long-time publisher Konami went sour. It turns out that PT could have been a demo for a very different game, as Cliff Bleszinski, known for his work on the Unreal and Gears of War game series, has taken to Twitter stating that Kojima had asked to collaborate with him on Silent Hills.

https://twitter.com/therealcliffyb/status/697943663939289090

The fate of Silent Hills was a real shame, especially after PT, and has left many of us asking “what if?” the game had been allowed to be completed instead of being pulled as just a demo. We don’t know at what point in the development of the game Kojima had tried to get Bleszinski on board or if del Toro was already onboard at the time. It all just brings more intrigue to the table regarding a game that is now long dead before it even existed. Bleszinski cited a number of reasons for declining to work with Kojima on Silent Hills, despite being flattered by the offer, stating that “I don’t like LA, I love new IP, and I woulda f***ed up SH”

Thankfully, while Silent Hills was not to be, both Kojima and Bleszinski are both hard at work on moving forward with their own new projects. Bleszinski is leading the development of the new free-to-play PC shooter Lawbreakers with Boss Key Productions. Meanwhile, Kojima’s moving on from Konami has seen him founding a new game studio and starting a brand new partnership with Sony, having a new game in the works for PS4 and PC and even finding time to go on a world trip to see the future of gaming technology. Who knows, maybe the two could even team up to work on a game in future!

Kojima Meets Abrams To Discuss New Studio

Movies and Games go hand in hand like chocolate coated marshmallows. If you have a good movie, there will be a game and recently if you make an amazing game, you sometimes even get a movie. Some of the biggest names in each industry recently met, raising to speculation that we could soon see them working on something.

Some of the biggest names in their respective industries Hideo and JJ Abrams recently met to discuss Kojima’s new studio. Abrams is known for his quick action and lens flares was the producer for the recent Star Wars film, the Force Awakens. Amongst his credentials come producers for movies such as Star Trek (and the next trek film, Star Trek Beyond) and even some video game based movies such as the highly anticipated Half-Life film.

Kojima comes from the gaming world, having created the hugely popular video game series Metal Gear Solid. After being honoured at the DICE Hall of Fame Awards and leaving Konami, the studio behind the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Kojima has created a new studio. As if that wasn’t enough to get fans excited Kojima tweeted a picture saying he had just met Abrams to discuss his new studio.

Movie or Game? What would you like to see out of this combination? A movie based on a new franchise or maybe a game based on some of Abrams cinematic work?

Hideo Kojima is “Contractually Forbidden” From Discussing Konami Split

There’s a great deal of intrigue surrounding Hideo Kojima’s public fallout with Konami and the events which led to them parting ways. One unverified theory is, Konami wanted to integrate microtransactions into Metal Gear Solid V, but Kojima refused. Despite this, it’s unclear what really transpired and it doesn’t look likely that any information will be disclosed for a considerable amount of time. According to The New Yorker, Metal Gear’s creator is “contractually forbidden​” from discussing his work at Konami and the cause of their bitter feud. This isn’t a surprising revelation as Konami wants full control of their public image. Frankly, this is far too late as Konami is perceived by most people in the gaming community as a terrible company which ostracised Kojima. 

Konami’s behaviour has caused outrage and directed a huge amount of anger towards them. Apparently, they want to continue making more Metal Gear games without Kojima’s help but I think their dismal reputation will make any future release a complete failure. Honestly, I wish Kojima all the success in the future and expect the kind of innovation he’s known for. As for Konami, they don’t seem too focussed on pleasing the core gaming audience and I’m not convinced they have a long-term future in this industry.

New Kojima Productions Working on PS4 Console Exclusive – PC Port Confirmed

Sony Computer Entertainment has confirmed that Hideo Kojima’s new independent studio will be producing its first game as a console exclusive for PlayStation 4. In a YouTube video released last night, SCE President Andrew House revealed that the new Kojima Productions, now separate from Konami following the end of his contract, will be producing “something completely new” for PS4, with a PC version set to follow.

Kojima’s contract with Konami was terminated on the 15th December following a tumultuous few months for the auteur and his employee, and was even barred from attending the recent Game Awards by Konami. While Kojima was rumoured to be on gardening leave to see out the remainder of his contract, Konami denied his departure, claiming that he was merely on holiday.

Following Kojima’s official announcement of his departure from Konami, the creator of Metal Gear Solid, revealed his company’s new logo, which he describes as an amalgam of past and future:

A Q&A with a Sony EU community manager was posted to Medium this morning, revealing scant details regarding the new collaboration between SCE and Kojima, which then mysteriously disappeared. Thankfully, Gematsu republished the post before it was pulled:

Q1. I heard that SCE has signed an agreement with Kojima Productions, a studio newly formed by Hideo Kojima. What are the specifics of the agreement?

Kojima Productions has agreed to develop its first software title as a console exclusive to PS4. We do not disclose further details.

Q2. When was the agreement signed?

We have announced immediately after the contract was signed, Wednesday, Dec 16, 2015.

Q3. Does this mean Kojima Productions now belongs under SCE WWS?

No, it is an independent studio.

Q4. Is SCE making an investment in Kojima Productions? What is the total cost of the agreement? Is it incorporated in the G&NS forecast? How much impact will this have to Sony’s overall operating performance?

SCE is not investing in Kojima Productions. Cost of the contract is undisclosed. Cost is already incorporated. Impact is minimal.

Q5. Why is Kojima Productions bringing their very first software to PS4 as a console exclusive? How did it come about?

Kojima is an extremely creative and passionate game designer who has made countless contributions to PlayStation and the gaming industry. By having Kojima develop his first independent title to PS4, we believe that we can deliver completely new gaming experiences made possibly only by Kojima, to gaming fans worldwide. We are not disclosing further details on how this agreement was realized.

Q6. What other platforms will Kojima’s first independent title be available on, besides PS4?

The title is planned to become available on PC (after PS4).

Q7. How long is the exclusivity?

We are not disclosing details.

Q8. Will Kojima’s second title (and beyond) not be PlayStation console exclusives?

We announced an agreement regarding Kojima’s first title, and SCE cannot comment on titles beyond that.

Q9. Does this have anything to do with Hideo Kojima not attending the PS Award on Dec 3?

Who will attend the PS Award ceremony is decided by the publisher and SCE cannot comment on anything further.

Q10. Will your relationship with Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. be affected by this agreement?

Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd. will remain one of SCE’s most important publishers, and our relationship with them will not change.

The first title from Kojima Productions

Q11. What will the first title be about?

It will be something completely new. We have nothing further to announce at this point in time.

Q12. Will the title have something to do with the Metal Gear series?

No. It will be something completely new. “Metal Gear” is a title from Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

Q13. Will the title have something to do with the cancelled Silent Hills sequel?

No. It will be something completely new. “Silent Hill” is a title from Konami Digital Entertainment Co., Ltd.

Q14. Are there any possibilities for the title to support PS VR?

We have nothing to announce at this point in time. We will announce further details of the title when ready.

Q15. Are there any possibilities for the title to become available on PS Vita?

We have nothing to announce at this point in time. We will announce further details of the title when ready.

Q16. When will the title become available? Will it be available worldwide?

We have nothing to announce at this point in time. We will announce further details of the title when ready.

Q17. Will SCE WWS and Kojima Productions develop the first title together?

The software title will be developed by Kojima Productions, but SCE will provide support as necessary.

Q18. Which company will publish the first title?

SCE will be the publisher.

Q19. Will the title’s copyright belong to SCE?

We have nothing to announce at this point in time. We will announce further details when ready.

Q20. Will all future titles developed by Kojima Productions be released on PS4?

We announced an agreement regarding Kojima’s first title, and SCE cannot comment on titles beyond that.

Q21. Will Kojima Productions develop titles for other platforms while working on the PS4 console exclusive title?

We announced an agreement regarding Kojima’s first title, and SCE cannot comment on titles beyond that.

Q22. Are there any possibilities for the title to be released on the next generation platform?

Kojima Productions has agreed to bring their very first software to PS4 as a console exclusive. We do not disclose further details.

■ Kojima Productions

Q23. How many staff?

Details are not disclosed.

Q24. Is the studio headquartered in Japan? What is the address?

Yes, headquarter is in Japan. Address is not disclosed

Q25. Can you tell me further details of Kojima Productions?

Please contact Kojima Productions for further details.

Contact: PR@kojimaproductions.jp

Kojima Officially Leaves Konami And Discussing New Studio With Sony

Konami’s bitter feud with Hideo Kojima reached a boiling point during The Video Game Awards Show. The event’s host, Geoff Keighley revealed that Konami banned Kojima from attending and accepting his reward for Action Adventure Game of the Year. This pitiful, petty move showed Konami at their worst, and rightfully made the gaming community extremely angry. It’s still unclear what transpired between Konami and Kojima but it’s now officially over according to Nikkei.

Not only that, the site suggests that Kojima is creating a new studio and in early discussions with Sony Computer Entertainment. This means, Sony could provide the necessary funds to help create Kojima’s next vision and it will likely be a PlayStation exclusive. This is a huge development and it makes sense for Kojima to pair up with Sony given Metal Gear Solid’s roots. I’m confident any project he has planned will be funded either by Kickstarter or from a major publisher. Konami’s behaviour has been appalling and many people concluded they could leave the gaming industry. I don’t know how they can realistically expect to produce another Metal Gear Solid game without Kojima’s vision and it just seems wrong to use something he created.

Kojima Didn’t Show at Game Awards Thanks to Konami’s Lawyers

Kojima is the creative mind behind the metal gear solid series, based on stealth, action and giant robots, the series has become infamous amongst gamers for both its storyline and the cardboard box; the biggest question is regarding if he still works for Konami.

A month ago we published an article talking about the “leave” Kojima was taking. After a goodbye party, it appears as if he left work. Konami keeps reminding people though that he is just “on leave”. This has gone a step further this week with the Game Awards expecting an appearance from Kojima, only to find that he was stopped by lawyers from Konami.

The host, Geoff Keighley, described the situation as:

“Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s award ceremony to accept any awards. He’s still under an employment contract and it’s disappointing.”

That’s the second time that someone has had to appear to accept an award in Kojima’s place, with a PR representative from Konami accepting an award from Playstation awards earlier in the week and now Kiefer Sutherland, a voice actor for Metal Gear Solid V, accepted the award at the Game Awards on his behalf.

Is he gone or not? I guess we will await more news before we know for certain.

Konami Helping to Create Phantom Pain-Inspired Prosthetic Arm for Amputee

Konami gets a lot of stick for its foul treatment of creators and staff, cynical approach to microtransactions, and a propensity for selling out its biggest franchises for pachinko machines. But it should be applauded when it does something good, and its latest endeavour is certainly worthy. Konami has partnered with the UK’s leading prosthetic creators to build an artificial limb for an amputee, inspired by the Bionic Arm worn by Venom Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

“KONAMI is working closely with renowned prosthetics artist, Sophie De Oliviera Barata and a team of engineers, roboticists and product designers, to produce a highly stylized and multi-functional limb for 25-year-old James Young, drawing from the Metal Gear Solid aesthetic,” a blog post on the Konami website reads.

Young was the sad victim of train accident in London, losing an arm and a leg after being dragged on to track. Despite his loss,” Konami writes, “James refuses to let it interrupt his life and hobbies of travel and video games. He has become extremely adept at playing games one-handed, and was carefully selected by Sophie as a candidate comfortable with the idea of an eye-catching alternative limb and who would benefit from the capabilities it offered.”

Sophie De Oliviera Barata, the lead artist on The Phantom Limb Project, is a pioneer in the field of custom prosthetics, making a career out of building artificial limbs that “[reflect] the personality of its user.”

While the project is still in its infancy, the team are currently working on creating a prosthetic based upon Snake’s Bionic Arm, with incremental updates, and even a documentary, to be posted to the official The Phantom Limb Project website.

Konami Plans “Large-Scale Investment” For Next Metal Gear Solid Game

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, purportedly the last game in the series, is a hit, having sold five million copies worldwide [PDF]. Now, despite alienating its creator, closing his LA studio, and seeming more concerned with building Pachinko machines than games, Konami insists that it will make another Metal Gear Solid game, and that is won’t be afraid to spend a lot of money on it.

The creator of Metal Gear Solid, Hideo Kojima, has all but left Konami – though the company insists he’s merely “on vacation”, despite having a leaving party at the Kojima Productions offices – quietly seeing out his contract, which is said to expire in December, and has made it quite clear that The Phantom Pain is his Metal Gear swansong. Konami, however, knows a cash-cow when it sees one and, since it was all too happy to strip Kojima’s name from the boxart for MGS V, obviously thinks it can poop out another Metal Gear Solid game without the input of its auteur.

In the print edition of Japanese news outlet Nikkei (via 2Channel, and translated by Kotaku), Konami said, “When we start development [of the new Metal Gear Solid game], a large-scale investment will become necessary,” confirming previous statements that, “After the release of MGSV: TPP, Konami plans to also continue releasing titles in the Metal Gear series. We would like to offer our deep gratitude for your continued support of the Metal Gear series.”

While Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, a title in which Kojima had only a supervisory role, was moderately successful in its execution, do you think the Metal Gear series has a future? Would you buy a Kojima-less Metal Gear Solid game?

Kojima Calls MGSV Ending “A Blank Space” That “Won’t be Filled”

While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has garnered near-universal acclaim for its gameplay, ardent Metal Gear fans – myself included – were disappointed by a polarising conclusion and the lack of both a coherent story arc and the connective tissue that was expected to tie the modern Metal Gear Solid series to the Metal Gear games of the MSX.

Since the release of MGSV, rumours have pointed the finger at publisher Konami, blaming the company for forcing the game out before it was completed, supposedly evidenced by the excised Chapter 3 material. But, in the Japanese novelisation of the game, creator Hideo Kojima has not only taken responsibility for the “blank space” left by the game’s ending, but has revealed that it was intentional; a metaphor for the end of the series, and the absence of its hero.

In a translation courtesy of redditor _notanything_, Kojima wrote in the Phantom Pain novelisation:

“Metal Gear was born as a game in 1987. From there 28 years, within me the circle of the Metal Gear story has been closed with the latest release “MGSV”. A respected author, Dennis Lehane with the popular series “Patrick Kenzie & Angela Gennaro” declared that at the peak of his popularity “No matter what kind of series it is, there is a time that it must end”, and he himself closed the curtain. No matter how popular a series is, someday the end will come. However, that is by no means a parting. Even if you can’t touch it, you can feel the influence of that story. A story is a thing without shape. Assuming physically nothing is there, nothing to be lost. As long as stories and legends are desired, they will continue forever. The brilliance will never vanish. It’s in everyone’s heart. It is not always true that saying “goodbye to a hero” ignites a phantom pain. By saying “goodbye to a hero”, you can for eternity leave behind lost joy as a blank space.”

“In MGSV, we hand the story (the legend) over to the player. That’s how the player becomes the Big Boss in the MSX2 Metal Gear. You play the game as you will, raise up your Mother Base. That’s the way I want the player to create his own story, thinking of things like “war” and “peace” as Big Boss. Up until now, the Metal Gear Saga was told by creating video games, but I want each player to think and come up with their own story (legend) on their own.”

“There is a blank space, but it will not be filled. In that blank space there is always a hero. Because there is a blank space, you can advance ahead. It is this blank space exactly that is “V”.”

Even the position of the novelisation, written by author Hitori Nojima, as canon is a void, with a typically cryptic Kojima adding:

“Language remains even if existence vanishes…”

Phantom Pain, indeed.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Konami Details November’s Metal Gear Online Patch

Konami has released the details of its upcoming patch for Metal Gear Online 1.01, which corrects issues with the auto-matching system, character movements, and revising the notoriously over-powered CQC (close-quarters combat) sprint technique.

The changelist is as follows:

[Auto-matching]
– You will now be matched with players of similar level to your highest character level.
– It is now less likely to join a host with poor network connection.

[Mission Adjustments]
– The game will now end once all teammates are stunned or tranquilized in CLOAK AND DAGGER.

[Loadout/Equipment Adjustments]
– The “E.LOCATOR” will now only available for the Scout class.
– Machines guns and launchers will now only be available for the Enforcer class.
– Shotguns will now only available for the Infiltrator class.
* As a result of these changes, custom loadouts will be initialized during the maintenance period following the update patch. 

[Character Ability Adjustments]
– Overall movement speed will be increased.
– Mobility has been re-balanced to allow faster travelling between objectives.
– Infiltrators will have health and stamina decreased.
– Enforcers will have health and stamina increased.
– Scouts will have health increased.
– Scouts will be able to mark targets more quickly while using binoculars.

[Weapon Adjustments]
– Firing sway for Machine Guns will be reduced.
– Weapon sway will be reduced overall when aiming in first-person view.
– Damage inflicted by the Walker Gear’s Gatling gun will be reduced.
– Walker Gears and Anti-Aircraft will now take more damage from certain weapons.
– Weapon damage of certain weapons are being adjusted for better balance.
– Damage value on the ISANDO RGL-220″ will be significantly reduced.
– Reduced ammo count on “ISANDO RGL-220” .
– Max carry for “E.LOCATOR,””STUN GRENADE,” and “SLEEP GRENADE” will be reduced.
– The throwing arch of the Empty Magazine will be invisible to enemies.
– The noise radius made by Empty Magazines when they land will be expanded.

[Item Adjustments]
– Max carry amount of “C.BOX” will be increased.

[Stealth Camo (STEALTH CAMO.PP) adjustments while using the STEALTH CAMO+ Ability]
– Stealth camo will be temporarily disabled when taking damage.
– Battery life will be reduced, and battery will take longer to charge.
– Marking time for cloaked players will be reduced.
– Cloaked players detected with NVG will be marked in standard marking time.

[CQC Adjustments]
– Range for CQC grabs will be narrowed.
– Icon for CQC grabs will no longer be displayed.
– Non-lethal damage done by CQC hits and grabs will be reduced.
– 1-hit CQC knock-outs will become exclusive to Infiltrators with “CQC STEALTH+” Lv.2 or higher.

[Fulton Adjustments]
– Fulton speed when using “FULTON+” Lv.2 or greater will be slowed.
– When a player fultons an enemy, the fulton balloon and the enemy will be invincible to other teammates.

[Buddy System Adjustments]
– Time required to establish a buddy link using the link action will be shortened.
– Link action will succeed regardless of the direction your character is facing, as long as you are in range. 
– The buddy gauge will now clear at the beginning of each round.

[Other Adjustments]
– Search filters in “SELECT MATCH” will be now saved.
– Countdown time on the Spawn screen has been extended from 10 seconds to 15 seconds.

Further changes can be expected before the November release of the Metal Gear Online 1.01 patch.

Image courtesy of PlayStation Lifestyle.

Hideo Kojima Leaves Konami… Or Has He?

It has emerged that Hideo Kojima, creator of the Metal Gear franchise, left his position at Konami two weeks ago following months of speculation, though no official confirmation has been released. Kojima’s exit followed a leaving party with the team formerly known as Kojima Productions (now known under the bureaucratic moniker “8th Production Department”, according to Nikkei) on 9th October, described by an insider to the New Yorker as “a rather cheerful but also emotional goodbye.”

After the report by The New Yorker, though, Konami came out to deny that Kojima had severed ties with the organisation, claiming to Tokyo Sports (and translated by Kotaku) that the Japanese auteur was simply “on vacation”. His party must have been one of those “Happy Vacation” parties. You don’t have those? You’re missing out.

“Currently, Kojima and the development team are finished developing Metal Gear Solid V and are taking a long time off from work,” Konami added, with “a long time” presumably an obtuse way of saying “forever”.

When asked directly about Kojima’s farewell celebration, the Konami spokesperson said, “We’re not sure what kind of thing this was.” Of course they don’t! Konami doesn’t understand sentiment, its heart having been replaced by a pachinko machine long ago.

Just to reinforce his New Yorker article, writer Simon Parkin then tweeted a photo from Kojima’s leaving do, just to prove that it was actually a “thing”.

Since rumours suggest that Kojima’s contract with Konami expires in December, it is conceivable that he is seeing out the remainder of his time with the company by using up his leave. Konami has not yet responded to questions regarding Kojima’s supposed return from his “vacation”.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Kojima Goes Full Troll Over The Phantom Pain Chapter 3

The true Phantom Pain of Metal Gear Solid V has proven to be the game’s missing content. The last entry in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, while being a strong contender for Game of the Year, feels rushed once it enters its second chapter, a fact made more plain once owners of the PC version found evidence of cut content, Chapter 3: Peace.

While many suspect that the sparse Chapter 2 and missing Chapter 3 were compromises by series creator Hideo Kojima, forced upon him by an impatient Konami (which would fit with the speculation regarding a feud between the two). The gameplay and agency that it grants the player is phenomenal, while the narrative is lacklustre. The result is, in this humble writer’s opinion, the best game in the Metal Gear Solid series, while simultaneously being the worst Metal Gear Solid game.

Speculation persists that Chapter 3 will be made available as DLC, with many keen for a true resolution to the game, but already fuming at the idea of having to pay for it. Kojima, true to form, knows the score, and he’s sticking it to us.

Two tweets from Kojima yesterday, involving Star Wars, True Detective, and The Killing, seem to be obliquely referencing both The Phantom Pain and third parts:

Volume 3. C3PO with a red arm, much like Venom Snake’s prosthetic.

Episode 3. Rachel McAdams with an E-cigarette, much like Venom Snake’s Phantom Cigar.

No Season 3. That’s it. It’s all over. Let’s go home.

Kojima’s a stinker.

Image courtesy of Kotaku.

Konami Refutes Claims About Leaving AAA Consoles Behind

French site, Gameblog recently made a stark revelation regarding Konami’s future and close sources said the publisher would cease AAA console development apart from the PES franchise. However, these claims have been dismissed by Su-Yina Farmer, Konami Europe’s marketing manager and proclaimed:

“I hope re-purposing speculation and rumour as news isn’t the new standard.”

“I can promise you that we’re definitely not leaving Metal Gear behind or anything like that. I know some blogs were claiming that online this morning, but I’m not really sure where they’d be getting that from.”

“We’re still definitely working on console games and franchises such as Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania, PES and all the rest.”

I’m pleased to see some clarification regarding this issue which reassures fans about the future of many beloved and long-running titles. Konami’s reputation is abysmal at the moment due to the Hideo Kojima controversy and Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 PC launch. The only way to reverse this is through enriching games and unique experiences. Hopefully, this marks the end of unsubstantiated rumours revolving the company’s business model. Although, Konami should have been more transparent in the first place.

It’s interesting to see Konami mention, “and all the rest” and I’m struggling to think of any other lucrative franchises apart from Metal Gear, Silent Hill, Castlevania and PES. Perhaps, there’s a new IP coming and that would be a rather interesting move.

Thank you ThrowingDigitalSheep for providing us with this information. 

PES 2016 PC Version is a Disgrace

The PC version of Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is shamefully based on the last-generation consoles edition and looks a complete shambles. Comparison images via NeoGAF, illustrates how the game on PC is lacking in sharpness, features blurry low-quality textures and contains a terrible lighting system. Not only that, PES 2016 doesn’t support resolutions above 25601600, only had 3 graphics settings and unbelievably, the roster has only been partially updated. Furthermore, the promotional screenshots on Steam are from the superior-looking PlayStation 4 version.

Currently, the reception from Steam users has been rightfully negative with a 42% approval rating. Konami’s handling of Metal Gear Solid V and decision to pull out from the console market has done little to help with their public reputation. Arguably PES will be their only AAA title, so surely they can get it right across multiple platforms. It’s baffling why Konami decided to port the technically ancient PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 version. Thankfully, customers can get their money back via the Steam Refund policy. The images below emphasize the stark difference between the PC and PS4 editions:

I’m extremely disappointed by Konami’s attitude and half-hearted approach to the PC port. Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 is a fantastic game and legitimate alternative to Fifa 16. However, the port is atrocious and grossly misrepresents the game you see via the Steam screenshots. To make matters worse, Konami has removed the default link which shows the Metacritic score. The publisher exploited a loophole to only offer the ‘Pro Evolution Soccer Digital Exclusive Bundle’. As a result, the standard game no longer exists and was removed from Steam. If this was intentional to hide negative reviews, then Konami really doesn’t deserve your money.

Thank you NeoGAF for providing us with this information.

Fan Remakes Metal Gear as “Outer Heaven” in Unreal Engine 4

Hot on the heels of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – likely to be the last game in the Metal Gear Solid series, or at least the last canonical entry due to Hideo Kojima’s imminent exit from Konami – is a fan remake of the game that started it all 28 years ago.

Released for the MSX2 home computer in 1987, Metal Gear introduced the world to a rookie FOXHOUND agent codenamed Solid Snake who, under the guidance of Big Boss, is tasked with infiltrating the fortified state Outer Heaven and destroying the bipedal nuclear weapons platform, the eponymous Metal Gear.

Boker of IndieDB is working on a remake of the game – which remained elusive to many gamers until being included with the Subsistence release of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and the HD Collection, along with its MSX sequel, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake – dubbed Outer Heaven, after the game’s setting. Boker has previewed some early screenshots of his remake, created using Unreal Engine 4.

He describes his remake:

“The gameplay will be like last MGS, but i want make it too with a original perspective like old MGS [sic]. Solid Snake, a rookie member of the FOXHOUND special operations unit is sent by his superior Big Boss to the South African fortress Outer Heaven, with the goal of finding the missing squad member Gray Fox and investigating a weapon known as Metal Gear.”

It’s not the first time someone has attempted to remake Metal Gear: an attempt last year, which was being made by former Infamous and Gears of War developers and was set to feature Solid Snake voice actor David Hayter, was shut down by Konami after initially granting the permission for the fan project.

Thank you Dark Side of Gaming for providing us with this information.

Konami Quits AAA Console Game Development But PES Survives

The vociferous public arguments between Konami and Hideo Kojima angered passionate Metal Gear Solid fans and turned Konami into a laughing stock, with memes and edited press images. According to GameBlog.fr, Konami’s new management isn’t interested in the console market whatsoever and barring PES, there won’t be any new titles. This isn’t surprising given the huge growth in mobile gaming throughout Konami’s home region of Japan. Puzzle games are huge over there and consoles are beginning to become a niche outlet.

Also, Konami is looking after their own financial interests and AAA game development in 2015 is unbelievably expensive. This is due to the increased graphical fidelity, improved art-assets and high-quality voice acting. Perhaps, Konami feels there’s no need to take any monetary risks and easily make money in the mobile sector. It’s unknown if Konami’s attitude will change in the future but I wouldn’t expect any console games except Winning Eleven/PES. This means no Metal Gear Solid, and no Castlevania. In recent years, the number of titles Konami released was fairly sporadic.

Konami’s main business and money-maker revolves around Pachinko machines. These are a form or recreational arcade machines in a public place and at the center of Japanese gambling. By law, you can’t acquire money from gambling in Japan, but Pachinko machines output balls which can be exchanged for prizes or tokens. Once collected, the tokens can be swapped for money outside of the gambling section.

Thank you GameBlog.fr for providing us with this information. 

The Existence of a Third Chapter Is a Pain For Metal Gear Solid V

On the whole, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has received many optimistic reviews which have praised the overall technical experience that has offered consumers a fresh take on a lasting classic franchise. A quick gander at Amazon’s store notes this incarnation of the game has so far received a rating of 4.5 out of 5; this encompasses 142 reviews as of writing. This sounds promising, except consumers have also noted the feeling of a rather incomplete narrative which abruptly ends.

Accidental oversight? It turns out data extracted from the game has led to the conclusion of the existence of a third chapter, which in hindsight looks to have been cut. The possibility of an extra chapter was found in the games files by way of a title card entitled “Peace.” Furthermore, it has been observed that scenes which were conveyed at pre-launch trailers have also been deleted from the game. This includes the removal of scenes from the E3 2013 trailer where African child soldiers were being trained by their master and also a prisoner being shot

Removing individual scenes is not a new phenomenon considering game trailers are not the most reliable source of information, individual set pieces are deleted due to many factors including time constraints, budgetary problems and censor regulation pressure. Removing a whole chapter with the consequence being a storyline which falls apart towards the end seems rather odd, many people have noted how easy it is to pin point the moment development was seemingly rushed to completion. Content has also been discovered on the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray concerning a texture which leads many fans to conclude it belongs to The Boss from Metal Gear Solid 3.

It will certainly be interesting to find out the reasons behind such cuts if indeed this will be made public, if there is enough support for the extra chapter you may well find it being released as a download add-on; this is considering the direction with which game development has shifted over recent years.

Thank you windowscentral and gamingbolt for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of forbes

Hideo Kojima Offers Advice on Playing Metal Gear Solid V

Now that Konami has released him from his purgatory at the coalface, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has dusted off his Twitter account in the wake of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain’s release.

Kojima has even offered advice regarding how his new game – likely to be the last Metal Gear Solid game he creates – should be enjoyed:

Not that players are likely to heed Kojima’s words; Jim Sterling certainly hasn’t:

https://twitter.com/JimSterling/status/638807611870081024

The Phantom Pain has garnered universal praise, from gamers and game sites alike, despite the behaviour of Konami, which just can’t stop being Konami. Even Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, creator of Minecraft, is loving it:

Kojima has also given us some insight into how his own playing style developed during production of Metal Gear Solid V:

However, he insists that he has not played the game since its release, as the famed perfectionist needs to let his baby go now that he has no further control over it:

Thought to be leaving Konami this month, Kojima hosted an emotional farewell to The Phantom Pain, and the Metal Gear series as a whole, during his last Official Debriefing video, during which he chats to the people who worked on the games, past and present, plus a touching tribute to 21-year-old Metal Gear Solid fan Sean Paul Gillespie, who lost his battle with cancer in February. Gillespie, whose correspondence with Kojima Productions touched Kojima, was cited as a motivation to get the game finished:

Image courtesy of Konami Japan.

Did a Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Easter Egg Reveal Kojima’s Konami Feud?

The saga regarding if and when Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima is leaving Konami, seemingly against his will, has been rumbling on since March this year, but an Easter egg discovered in Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, released on 18th March, 2014, a year before the ensuing drama became public knowledge, may have been pointing to Kojima’s exit and pre-emptive erasure for Metal Gear Solid’s history all along.

The Déjà Vu Mission, an extra op exclusive to the PlayStation release of the game, puts the player in control of a polygonal rendering of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake and tasks them with recreating iconic moments from the first game. A submission within Déjà Vu involves finding logos related to games from the history of the Metal Gear series.

Logos that pertain to Metal Gear games created by Kojima are erased – eerily reminiscent of Konami’s efforts to scrub Kojima’s name and production company credits from the Metal Gear Solid games – while those not produced by Kojima, such as Metal Gear Acid 2, are dismissed. “Looks like that’s nothing special,” says Snake’s associate Kaz when pointing to the aforementioned title’s logo.

Most tellingly, though, is a line that Kaz delivers later on, which seems to predict what would happen a year after the game’s release: “You might be able to erase the marking, but the memories will never disappear,” he says. There’s very little ambiguity about that.

The second part of the fifth and final instalment in the Metal Gear Solid franchise, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is set for release on 1st September on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, with the PC port expected a fortnight later.

Thank you GameSpot for providing us with this information.

Nvidia Will Bundle Metal Gear Solid V with GeForce Cards

Nvidia is stepping up their developer relations with another gaming deal! According to Newegg support, Konami is getting help with their latest Metal Gear Solid title, The Phantom Pain. While help from both AMD and Nvidia is normal, Nvidia’s past history with Konami points to Metal Gear Solid V being a The Ways Its Meant To Be Played release; at this point, there is no indication if the game will feature any Nvidia Gameworks features.

As expected given the state of Warner Bros’ Batman Arkham Knight being used as Nvidia’s GPU game bundle, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will soon replace it as part of the bundle deal. Newegg accidentally slipped up and revealed this information as well as the fact that the game will be bundled very soon. The game will likely be bundled with the GTX 970, 980, 980Ti, Titan X and maybe even the 960.

Konami has been making news recently with their very public spat with Kojima, leading to the cancellation of Silent Hills,  Momotaro Dentetsu and closure of Kojima Productions. Some blame the shift to mobile, though Konami has said they are still focused on consoles. The Phantom Pain PC will launch September 15th, two weeks after the console release.

Metal Gear Solid V Box Art Removes Kojima Branding

The public spat between Kojima Productions and Konami has become extremely petty in recent weeks and culminated with the final retail artwork removing any mention of Kojima Productions. Previously, Metal Gear Solid V was proudly displayed at press events as a Hideo Kojima game and advertised on the basis of his reputation.

So what caused such a bitter rift between both parties? Nothing has been confirmed but rumours suggest the fiery exchange revolved around the implementation of microtransactions. Supposedly, Konami wanted to enhance the game’s momentary avenues and Kojima was vehemently against this. However, this is all speculation and there could be other underlying tensions which may have been going on for some time.

Konami’s handling of the affair has been nothing short of a PR disaster. They cancelled production of Silent Hills and removed the publicly available demo. This caused a great deal of controversy as the demo was well received and offered a terrifying experience which many modern horror games fail to reproduce.

This follows the recent news from Otsuka Akio, the Japanese voice actor for Solid Snake who said,

“[Kojima Productions] has been disbanded,”

“It appears that the work that the team has been putting their utmost effort into is nearly complete.”

Metal Gear Solid V will be released on September 1st on Playstion 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. The PC version is estimated to arrive two weeks after this launch date.

Are you looking forward to the game or do you feel this escapade has reduced your enthusiasm?

Thank you CNet for providing us with this information

Konami Destroys Another Game Franchise

Following the sad cancellation of Silent Hills and the imminent demise of both Metal Gear Solid and creator Hideo Kojima’s time at the company, Konami has trashed yet another popular game franchise, forcing the end of Japan’s favourite locomotive-themed virtual boardgame, Momotaro Dentetsu.

Creator of the Momotaro Dentetsu series, Akira Sakuma, says the games are “officially finished” after citing mistreatment by Konami executives. In a post on Twitter, Sakuma wrote:

“Konami hasn’t gotten in touch with me at all. This is how they’ve tossed me aside for a while now. I’m announcing here that Momotaro Dentetsu is officially done. Ishikawa at Konami squelched everything.”

The story might not seem like big news outside of Japan, where Momotaro Dentetsu is immensely popular, but in the context of what is happening at Konami recently, it is the latest symptom of the demise of a once-great company.

Sakuma’s treatment at the hand of Konami executives appears to be a trend after the company’s “restructuring”, with reports that tram members of Kojima’s studio, rushing to finish Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain in time for release in December, are effectively being bullied into quitting, subjected to “frequent black-outs, security doors not working, people being forced to move desks every few days,” according to an anonymous source within Konami.

Konami’s scorched Earth policy to its past, seemingly in favour of a move into mobile gaming and gambling, is distressing to watch unfold.

Thank you Kotaku for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Games Cabin.

Is Microsoft Set to Rescue Silent Hills?

Could it be? It is true? Will the greatest game never made really be resurrected? According to the Rooster Teeth YouTube channel: “We can report through an anonymous source that Microsoft is currently in talks to purchase Silent Hills from Konami, and have project as an Xbox One exclusive,” in a deal supposedly worth billions of dollars.

The recently cancelled Silent Hills – co-directed by horror auteur Guillermo del Toro and Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, and starring The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus – is one of the many causalities of Konami’s ‘scorched Earth’ restructuring, with the company refocusing its resources on mobile gaming and gambling, but is probably the most lamented. The game’s demo, P.T., hailed as a masterpiece in of itself, was downloaded over a million time from the PlayStation Store, before being acrimoniously pulled last month. The source claims that Konami pulled P.T. from the PlayStation Store “as a show of good faith to Microsoft.”

The unsubstantiated rumour of Silent Hills’ imminent rescue courtesy of Microsoft sounds outlandish, but Lawrence Sonntag of Rooster Teeth’s The Know assures viewers that its anonymous source is trustworthy, saying, “The source is in the industry – very well placed – and has leak information to us in the past that has become true. Specifically, we learned from the source in July 2013 […] that Microsoft would eventually release an Xbox One without a Kinect, and at the time this is when Microsoft was saying, ‘we will never, ever, ever do it’.” The Know’s source reported that the change would occur Summer 2014 – Xbox One without Kinect then shipped on 9th June, 2014.

The Know added, “Our source told us that Microsoft is hungry for exclusives, and they are in serious talks with Konami to buy the Silent Hill property and convert it into an Xbox One exclusive. On top of that, Microsoft is hoping to close this deal by E3 so they can trot it out as a huge get,” so we shouldn’t have to wait too long until the report is confirmed to be true.

Finally, the leaker says that “Silent Hills is said to be about 80% done, and if all that is true the game could come out as early as March of next year.”

Billions of dollars for an ailing franchise? “80% done” when Reedus said during a reddit AMA in December 2014 that “we haven’t shot the heavy [motion capture] stuff yet”? I don’t buy a word of it. But I desperately want to.

Image courtesy of Forbes.