Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was an experiment for episodic releases
by Danny Craig ·
Metal Gear Solid (MGS) series creator Hideo Kojima has revealed that the prequel, Ground Zeroes, was an experiment for what was to be an episodic release structure for The Phantom Pain.
- In a recent tweet, Kojima revealed that MGSV: Ground Zeroes was originally planned to be the first episode of the MGSV story, with subsequent releases of parts of the game planned before Konami decided on a traditional release. After the game's release, Kojima explained that it appeared that fans "expected [Ground Zeroes] to be a 'full game' and did not understand it after its release," and that he felt it was "too early" for the model. The episodic structure was considered because, according to Kojima, developing a full game takes "4–5 years and an enormous amount of time," and feedback from Ground Zeroes would've allowed the developers to change things up for the second and third episodes.
- Ground Zeroes was met with mixed reactions, with many criticizing its short length and $40 price tag while praising its graphics and mechanics, which look great even nine years later. Since the game's main and side content could be completed in less than a few hours, some fans referred to it as a full-price demo. The Phantom Pain, on the other hand, fared much better with fans and critics, receiving near-perfect scores from most major publications for its story, gameplay, and open-world setting, so it appears that opting for a traditional release paid off greatly.
- Kojima left Konami after losing his title of Executive Content Officer as a result of a company reshuffle, which resulted in his studio, Kojima Productions, becoming just another Konami studio rather than being able to mostly operate as its entity. After that, the director was allegedly forced to work on a different floor than the rest of the team and was "locked in a separate room" for the final six months of The Phantom Pain's development. He went on to establish Kojima Productions as an independent studio, which produced the sci-fi title Death Stranding.
Other Kojima Productions news:
- The studio is currently working on a sequel to Death Stranding, officially titled "DS2." The game will feature the return of several characters from the first installment, including protagonist Sam, though no release date or plot details have been revealed. It was rumored that Scottish pop band CHVRCHES would return to the franchise to perform a title track, as they did in the first game, but it appears that they are not currently working with the studio.
- According to leaks last year, Kojima's team is also working on another project titled "Overdose," which is said to be a horror title. The company confirmed in December 2022 that a second game was in development alongside DS2, but it is unknown if this is Overdose or if Kojima has a surprise up his sleeve.