Last week, the first trailer for “Metal Gear Survive,” a new entry in the long-beloved “Metal Gear” video game series, hit the web. Coming off the rave reviews of the series’ previous game, “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” you’d think fans of the series would be ecstatic to jump back into the “Metal Gear” world.
That’s decidedly not what’s happening.
Metal Gear Survive: Tactical Missing the Point Action
— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) August 17, 2016
Instead, the trailer for “Metal Gear Survive” is triggering outrage amongst its dedicated fanbase, because it’s just the latest in a string of events that “Metal Gear” fans perceive to be the gross mishandling of one of gaming’s most iconic franchises.
The majority of this outrage stems from the tumultuous relationship between the series’ auteur, Hideo Kojima, and Konami, the company that publishes “Metal Gear” games as well as other video game classics like “Castlevania” and “Silent Hill.”
In the time leading up to the release of “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” in September 2015, it was clear that something was amiss between Kojima and Konami. In March of that year, references to Kojima’s production company were removed from promotional materials for “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain,” and someone within the company claimed Kojima would be leaving Konami after the game was released.
In 2014, Konami released a short demo for horror game called “PT,” which was eventually revealed to be a reboot of the iconic “Silent Hill” series, a project Kojima was working on with filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus. The demo was met with near-universal acclaim, but just a few weeks after the aforementioned report of Kojima’s departure from Konami surfaced, “Silent Hills” was officially cancelled.
Additionally, it was reported that Konami barred Kojima from attending the 2015 Game Awards, where “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain” garnered five nominations and two awards, including Best Action/Adventure Game.
Really, Kojima’s departure from Konami is a symptom of Konami’s pivot away from big-budget console games in general. Instead, it’s focusing on making Pachinko machines — which are popular Japanese arcade/gambling devices similar to slot machines — and on cheaper mobile games.
“Metal Gear Survive”
That brings us back to the recent reveal of “Metal Gear Survive,” Konami’s first “Metal Gear” game developed without Kojima. The multiplayer-only game will be sold for $30 instead of the $60 price tag usually associated with console games, leading many fans to believe it will be a cheap cash grab rather than a sequel worthy of the “Metal Gear” name.
Essentially, hardcore fans realise that what makes the “Metal Gear” series so special is Kojima’s unique artistic vision, not the Konami brand. Fans are loyal to Kojima, not “Metal Gear” in and of itself.
In response to the negative reaction to “Metal Gear Survive,” Robert Allan Peer, online community manager for Konami, has been engaging with fans over Twitter. He understands the backlash, saying “Metal Gear Survive” needs to “prove itself for sure.”
Peer seems to think that as more of “Metal Gear Survive” is revealed, more fans will come to embrace it, but many remain unsympathetic to a post-Kojima-era Konami.
Amongst those closed off to Konami’s latest offering might be Norman Reedus himself. After the reveal of Kojima’s current project — called “Death Stranding,” in which Reedus stars — he posted a photoshopped image of Kojima drinking from a mug emblazoned with the text, “Konami tears.”
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