With Hideo Kojima’s exit from Konami being day after day more likely, all the fans of the series are both worried and eager to know the future of the Metal Gear series. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will solve many of the doubts and mysteries about the evolution of the saga and its characters, so paradoxically it could represent a good ending from which a totally new trilogy or franchise could arise. Once it has dissolved the original teams of Pro Evolution Soccer and Silent Hill, Konami has not been good enough to grant the quality of those properties, that are starting to see the light at the end of their tunnels only after years and years of commercial and critics debacles. So, what will happen to the Metal Gear brand once Hideo Kojima is out of Konami?
At what point is the Metal Gear saga
Hideo Kojima has been continuously splitting Metal Gear Solid’s saga into two parts, one located in the past and another in the modern times. From the past we have Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Those games have so far represented a sort of explanation for the facts happening in the modern times chapters and the relationships among each character, while they’re taking a new path in The Phantom Pain, where we’ll witness the completion of Big Boss’ portrait independently from what we have seen in the other titles. That’s why, given that Kojima wanted to experiment a fresh gameplay but still had to work on the MGS saga, the transition to the new open world structure makes sense.
Is there any hope for the future?
From the modern times we have Metal Gear Solid, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Going beyond Metal Gear Solid, there would be Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, too, that shows how it is possible to make a Metal Gear game without taking in account stealth gameplay and the canon. This is by a great distance my favorite storyline, even though I admit that Kojima has been delivering his talent at its best in the episodes from the past, where he displayed historical accuracy, top quality direction and screenplay, and a more varied roster of characters and situations.
So, modern times storyline would be the best fit for Konami if the publisher wants to have a partnership with an external developer, as it happened with Platinum Games. The developer would have a good amount of creative freedom and, with a good gameplay, it wouldn’t disappoint the core fans even if we should be talking about Metal Gear Solid 6. Rumors say Konami is already hiring for a new chapter of the saga, anyway, so it is more probable that the publisher will end up creating an internal unit to develop the next Metal Gear on its own.
That unit would be made of some talents coming from Kojima Productions, who would have the target to keep focusing on what people like of the core saga, and top quality developers arriving from all the corners of the world. At that point I would not exclude an interlocutory Metal Gear Rising 2 to ease the hype of fans and make some money, and another Metal Gear Solid located in the past as part of the main franchise. A decision about the open world saga to be retained or not would depend only on the success of The Phantom Pain.
What’s your opinion about that: would you prefer a more classic, modern times and story-driven Metal Gear Solid or another title inspired to The Phantom Pain’s open world new deal?