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Not even Kojima knew what to do with Ground Zeroes

There are people you really just don't want to call on their shit. It's uncomfortable, you know? Confrontational. They don't really want to talk about it. You don't really want to talk about it. But, it's your job--or rather, it's my job--so it's got to be done. At a PS4 review event earlier this week, I had the opportunity to call Hideo Kojima on his shit, and as it would turn out, his shit really doesn't stink as much as I originally thought it might.

I'm talking, of course, about Ground Zeroes, the mangle-messaged prelude to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, currently scheduled for release on current- and next-gen platforms this spring. The speculation shared by many--myself included--was that the $30 add-on amounted to not much more than pre-release DLC. That it was a piece of content that should be included on the full game disc, but instead is being released separately, digitally, to milk consumers of dollars and cents.

However, as Kojima told me, it's less money grab and more wow-we-really-had-no-idea-how-to-go-about-doing-this. See, according to Kojima, the plan for Ground Zeroes was completely different. "There was a time when I thought Ground Zeroes would be on PSP, or PS3, but development-wise it proved to be much tougher than we originally thought, so that isn’t possible," Kojima said, via translator.

"Originally, the plan was completely different," he continued. "We had some time with Metal Gear Rising, as well, so I just wanted to release Ground Zeroes, but then we learned about the next generation. We wanted to release the prologue as well as the main game, Metal Gear Solid V, as a whole at the same time, featuring different elements. But then we had some difficulties and we came to the decision of putting Ground Zeroes out there first."

This one you could probably call a spin, but Kojima also noted that he really wanted folks to be experiencing the newest Metal Gear alongside the launch of the new consoles.

"Ideally we would be releasing [The Phantom Pain] now, but it’s such a huge game that we’re still working on it," he said. "But now all these next-gen platforms are launching, so we wanted to put something out there for the people to try, and that’s why we’re excited to put it out."

So that's about as plain and straight of an answer as you might hope for out of a game executive. Nothing particularly nefarious. Nothing particularly Orwellian. They just...kind of...muddled their way through, found a convenient out, and took it. The fear here, then, is that Kojima's accident is taken up by some savvy salesman, one who decides, you know what?, pre-release DLC should be a thing.

Oh, and for the record, add Kojima's name to the chorus of developers who think it's easy to develop for the PS4.

6 comments

  • shawksta - November 17, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    Hmm, not bad Kojima
  • Shigeruken - November 17, 2013 3:10 a.m.

    $30 may seem like a lot, but through the magic of regional price gouging I'm sure that will be close to the full $60 in NZ and Aus, so that'll be fun.
  • victor-strang - November 16, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    Is people upset about this? As a huge fan os MGS, since the first playstation, Im really happy about the oportunity of playing an early chapter of this game. A shit that really stinks is this useless "news" that is just someone bragging around. Just lost time reading this shit text.
  • Sinosaur - November 16, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    Given how much content exists in Metal Gear games, I don't know if I really feel all that upset by the decision to put out two parts. I'd like it if the price for Ground Zeroes was a bit lower, though. In fact short, cheap paid demos for some games could be pretty great. Dead Rising: Case 0 was a ton of fun and gave me apparently all of the Dead Rising I can stand. I played that and was done and it didn't cost me all that much for maybe two or three hours of fun. Part of me wonders if selling parts of some games independently might also be a good idea. It could be possible to sell some people just the multiplayer component of certain games (I know I might have been able to sell the ME3 multiplayer to some people who didn't play Mass Effect). Of course, the games where that's most likely to be desirable to the consumers are games like CoD and Battlefield, where the publisher knows they can get their $60 from people for the whole package.
  • Jackonomics - November 15, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    Well whoopdifuckingdo, don't make a game your unsure if then you dunce
  • AKALMoumen - November 15, 2013 11:48 p.m.

    That's not what he meant... The game went through a few development cycles and MGSV was too early and next gen is here... so they had this game the was finished done and MGSV not even close they decided to put this out to have something close to the launch window... And the spring makes sense it originally being a PSP game or a PSV game and then making it into a PS3 game and then again to PS4 would take a while... So what you expect them to throw a game thats done and had millions put into it coz it might seem like pre release DLC or an upscaled game...

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