Hey, Wanna Head Up Development on the Next Metal Gear?

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jeff

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Edited By jeff
There are a ton of great photos of Kojima.
There are a ton of great photos of Kojima.

You've probably already seen talk about Hideo Kojima this week. Konami not-so-quietly updated some websites and box art to remove things like "A Hideo Kojima Game" from the cover of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and GameSpot did some source-checking to get some off-the-record confirmation that Kojima and some of the senior staff of his studio, Kojima Productions, have been cut down to contract status and are expected to be completely out of Konami sometime after Phantom Pain ships in September.

I decided to do a little checking of my own, in the form of standing up, walking over to where the GameSpot people sit, and asking "hey, how solid is the source on this?" I got nods and confirmations back, which is enough for me in this specific case.

Of course, maybe Kojima and Konami's particularly worded statement today is all the confirmation you need.

To Customers,

Thank you for your continued patronage of KONAMI products and services.

The latest title in the METAL GEAR series,“METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN” (below, “MGSV: TPP”), will be released as planned starting on Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 in North America, Latin America, and Europe, followed by Japan and Asia on Wednesday, September 2nd. Hideo Kojima will remain involved throughout.

Hideo Kojima stated, "I want to reassure fans that I am 100% involved and will continue working on METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN; I’m determined to make it the greatest game I’ve directed to date. Don’t miss it!"

In addition, KONAMI will continue to develop and distribute top-quality content in the METAL GEAR series following “MGSV: TPP.” We greatly anticipate and deeply appreciate your ongoing support for METAL GEAR.

As the next step in the series, KONAMI has already resolved to develop new “METAL GEAR”.

We will be conducting interviews for main staff to lead the development.

No Caption Provided

So there you have it? Kojima doesn't want you to miss his next/last Metal Gear game and... Konami is looking for "main staff" to run development on future Metal Gear titles. The notion of Konami wanting to continue making games in that revered franchise makes some amount of sense, but the more I think about Konami and its current treatment of video games, the more I question what form a new Metal Gear would take. Would it be a Metal Gear-shaped treadmill, for use in its health clubs? Maybe a pachinko machine that has a picture of a Hind D on it?

A number of things are capable of happening once Kojima and Konami have officially parted ways. Not to just idly speculate, but... let's idly speculate about what we could be looking at down the line.

Someone would probably step up to fund a new game studio with Kojima in the driver's seat. Microsoft could afford this. Maybe Sony could step up? I haven't seen their balance sheet, but as I understand it, the conventional wisdom about Sony, Microsoft, and money has been that Microsoft has enough to throw around to make deals happen and Sony, beleaguered by its other business units, is forced to be a bit more strategic. That's why Sony plays the "hearts and minds" game while Microsoft stomps out there and says "we've got Tomb Raider (for now)." To be fair, Microsoft has gotten a bit cuddlier and less robotic since Spencer took the reins, but you get my point. Anyway, we're getting sidetracked. It's hard to imagine what other third-party publisher would pony up the amount of cash and freedom that someone like Kojima might want to get back into the big game business. But I'm speculating. For all we know, Kojima might want to take 15 people and go make something small. I'd be all for a spiritual successor to Boktai or something. Maybe he'll finally go make a movie, like I said he should back in 1998.

Boktai.
Boktai.

Konami will probably attempt to fill its positions and give Metal Gear another go. But the company's taste for video games has soured quite a lot over the last decade. They're only spending money on the most obvious bets for them--Metal Gear and Pro Evo. The rest is mobile stuff, some of which doesn't seem to be making it out of Japan at all. It's hard to know what sort of budget a "new Metal Gear" might get. As for talent, it'd be interesting to see what sort of game Konami would make without Kojima at least lending a bit of guiding hand to the proceedings. It might be totally fine. Actually, considering the timeline of the franchise and where/when Phantom Pain seems to fall, it feels like we're getting to a point where Metal Gear could use a major change of scenery and characters. I wouldn't be shocked to see a reboot or some kind of game that takes place far after the events of MGS4, using that world as a backdrop for a new Snake clone or something. OK, now I'm just writing crappy fan fiction, I should probably move on.

It's also possible that Metal Gear could fade into the background and vanish, just like so many of Konami's other franchises. Maybe Konami would be up for licensing them out? Maybe they'd just sell off the old IP to someone who wants to actually make a new Contra or something?

Hideo Kojima has always been an interesting figure in the world of video games. And the thought of him out there, making something new, is pretty exciting to me. New hands on Metal Gear doesn't automatically sound like a bad thing, either. But at least we can all agree that the way Konami has approached this move has been the worst way it possibly could have done this. Even if things behind the scenes have become untenable, it's surprising that this hasn't been spun as some kind of celebration. But I guess they still have to worry about selling copies of Phantom Pain, and that probably becomes more difficult if you're already out there talking about how this was the game that broke up the Kojima/Konami relationship.

Think that game'll show any signs of all this supposed behind-the-scenes turmoil?

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szlifier

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#1  Edited By szlifier

Metal Gear?

Snake's Revenge 2?

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Kaigan

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Eh, Kojima's probably barely necessary in the development process of a Metal Gear game.

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mikemcn

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I always assumed metal gear was a playstation franchise, obviously it hasn't been in a long time, but i think sony would be smart to tie up that franchise for themselves. Besides metal gear why does konami even exist?

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wmoyer83

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Metal Gear ReRevengeance 2

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I_Stay_Puft

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Good idea Konami never changed their company name to Kojima. That would of been a total egg in the face.

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daviblight

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Please someone do research into what this means for Silent Hill...

I badly want to know if G. Del Toro's alliance is with Kojima or the Team working on it at Konami.


I could care less if Kojima/Del Toro were working on SH or something completely different, i just need to believe they are going to continue, PT was so revolutionary for the horror genre and it was only a taste.

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DaveKap

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#7  Edited By DaveKap

Konami should look back at what it did for arcade cabinets to get hints of what they should do next.

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cloudymusic

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Sure, I've got a great idea for the next Metal Gear game. It's set in eastern Europe, and involves Snake infiltrating an old castle. There may be whips and vampires involved.

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Humanity

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I really hope it's Kojima's "magnum opus" of the Metal Gear world and that he wasn't being continuously stifled by Konami during the development process. I also think this is a good thing in a way, because it forces Kojima to move on to other projects whether he actually wants to or not. Hopefully not a ton of people are going to find themselves without a job after nearly two decades spent on this series. For all we know the next exciting "Metal Gear" game could be a sequel to Rising.

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jonano

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I'm all for Kojima leaving Konami .The guy has being making Metal Gear for like 25 years it's about time he did something else.

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TheLastNeo

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#11  Edited By TheLastNeo

I love the casual call back to review from 98. OG Jeff

lol.. soo good!

But otherwise, great read - thank you

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billymaysrip

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@daviblight:

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hassun

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#13  Edited By hassun

Go out there and make something awesome, Mr Kojima. That's all I want.

Also holy fucking shit put his name back on the games he created.

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DeathSandwich

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Didn't Kojima say basically after every Metal Gear game since 3 effectively that "This is my last Metal Gear game" and that he wanted to work on other pet projects only to get pulled back in?

With that as a baseline, I think it would be interesting if he willingly chose to break out from Konami because they wouldn't let him work on anything else besides Metal Gear.

Either case: if this means we get the spiritual successor to Snatcher I'm all for it.

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seakae

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After this, it'll probably be remasters of all the titles to date.

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CaLe

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#16  Edited By CaLe

If only they'd go back to making awesome Japanese audio dramas...

No Caption Provided

This thing accurately predicted our dystopian internet-dependent future back in '95!

Also... wait, is that a... Hind D on the cover, Colonel? I hadn't even noticed.

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dynamix

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Perhaps a Metal Gear / Air Force Gator mash-up?

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HotJala

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#18  Edited By HotJala

@kaigan said:

Eh, Kojima's probably barely necessary in the development process of a Metal Gear game.

Wait what?

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rmanthorp

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#19 rmanthorp  Moderator

Give it all to Platinum and only go forward with Rising! Send of Solid with 5 07

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MooseyMcMan

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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I think this situation is super shitty, but being able to finally "let go" after The Phantom Pain, and Kojima being able to do something else both sound great to me. It's just a bummer that (presumably) a bunch of people are going to lose their jobs in the process.

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chikin_n_rofls

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I, too, hope that Kojima leaves Metal Gear on a high note with Phantom Pain. Though, I don't think the removal of his name from the box art will ever not be weird to me.

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Tiamatsword22

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Giantbomb East said they wanted to hire someone who spoke Japanese. So Kojima to Giant Bomb?

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kentobi

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A Hind D?

Also, although I miss Patrick, Jeff's headlines are fantastic.

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giant_frying_pan

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It's a shame that it seems to be ending this way. In a sense, overshadowing what I hope is indeed the best Metal Gear Solid instalment. I liken the situation to Clover leading to Platinum Games. Kojima will land on his feet and I'm sure he'll take care of his staff. There won't be any shortage of publishers looking to pick them up, although hopefully it is the right one for the audience.

I think Konami has to be very, very careful not to alienate people. I don't think they've done a good job thus far and the 'joint statement' doesn't help. They should look to producing spinoffs like Rising rather than try to keep MGS going and hope everyone doesn't notice its heart has been transplanted.

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UltimAXE

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I would loooooove to know just what the fuck happened that turned the Konami/Kojima relationship sour. I assume that it's sour.

I am all for Kojima finally breaking away from MGS and also all for someone else making games in the franchise. But then, Konami barely even makes games that are of a similar scope and scale as a Metal Gear anymore.

This is so weird.

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dr_mantas

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Sure, I got a weekend.

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BatmanBatman

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At this point, I'm not too worried that MGS5 will turn out to be anything but what it was set to be in the first place. But I can't help but think, that, without Kojima, all we're getting from Konami from now on are more Metal Gear Risings.

On the other hand, the idea of him doing something new other than Metal Gear, is pretty exciting. Let's wait and see.

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Unholymike123

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Onemanarmyy

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#29  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I hate that Konami now has ownership of the franchise that was always more Kojima than Konami. Luckily it seems like The Phantom Pain will connect the pieces up to Metal Gear 1 , making the circle round. If the series ever had to end, this moment would probably be the best one.

Kojima always produces interesting games with deep mechanics and a rich story. I have no doubt that he will find a place / team to create great games with.

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monkeyking1969

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I'd like to see what Kojima would/could make on a small budget with a small team. I simply don't trust him with skyhigh funds and deep pockets financing him to any limit he can get out of them. Microsoft would be a terrible partner for him, because they would lavish money on him. He would make a crazy pile of crap that is just weird, and in the end nobody wins from that.

FInance a studio, give him a seven man team, and give him 18 months of which he really is expected to make in in 12 months. That is the sort of "do it now" situation Kojima needs to be in, because once that dude starts "skylarking" about what he REALLY want to do it is a shit-show.

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fattony12000

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Kojima leaving is almost worth it because it meant that we got an article out of the story from Jeff.

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Ravelle

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#32  Edited By Ravelle

@wmoyer83 said:

Metal Gear ReRevengeance 2

Metal Gear Rising 2: You got Revengeance'ed.

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poobumbutt

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I know as a huge MGS fan, this should irk me, but I guess I'm just happy that this means Kojima might be able to go make something super-cool AND super-new. Although, I'm kind of worried what this means for Silent Hills. Maybe the Del Toro/Kojima partnership isn't strictly exclusive for Konami? If so, then how about continuing the partnership with a ZoE/Pacific Rim crossover game? Funding from where? Hell if I know!

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DeathByWaffle

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Really hope this doesn't impact the development of Silent Hills, really looking forward to seeing what comes of that.

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futurstock

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Can't blame the guy, he's been doing metal gear for a whiiiiile.. and the stress of managing those projects is no way to live for that long. Im a fan of metal gear scanlon but ive only ever played 2, so i'm seeing most of this stuff for the first time with Drew. Kojima has come up with some really cool characters, and the camera direction in the cutscenes is great. i respect the dude as an artist. ~*Ocelot meow*~

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AMyggen

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#36  Edited By AMyggen

@ultimaxe said:

I would loooooove to know just what the fuck happened that turned the Konami/Kojima relationship sour. I assume that it's sour.

I am all for Kojima finally breaking away from MGS and also all for someone else making games in the franchise. But then, Konami barely even makes games that are of a similar scope and scale as a Metal Gear anymore.

This is so weird.

The thing about Kojima going forward is that, with the state of console gaming and AAA games in Japan, I'm not sure who would be willing to fund something big he wanted to make. Maybe Sony? Maybe? I think the most realistic options is 1) he's gonna make a smaller game with a smaller team, 2) he's gonna do like all other Japanese devs; go mobile, or 3) he's finally gonna go into making movies.

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Eribuster

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"Think that game'll show any signs of all this supposed behind-the-scenes turmoil?"

If you think of Metal Gear Solid 4 as having allegorical aspects to Hideo Kojima's experience and thoughts on the video game industry and himself, then I'm sure we'll some stuff in The Phantom Pain that has lead to Kojima's rumored departure.

This is a crazy bit of news, but also one that is a long time coming. Konami has been letting go its console video game talent for years now. It wouldn't be long until Kojima felt the need to exit a company that doesn't value him as much as he would want.

An aside from Jeff's Metal Gear Solid review:

"To say that the length of the game is disappointing is generous at best. Even if you were to watch every single cutscene and fumble around a bit at the beginning while learning the controls, you would still finish the game in around 15 hours. Once you know exactly what to do and skip as much plot as possible, you can run through the game in three hours or less."

Ho, golly. It's really interesting to read old reviews.

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AMyggen

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Really hope this doesn't impact the development of Silent Hills, really looking forward to seeing what comes of that.

I'm sure it will fundamentally impact the development of that game. I know that Konami had a contract with Del Toro and not Kojima to make that game, but the actual dev team and Kojima himself will not be making the game. So we have no idea who's gonna make that game now, if it's getting made.

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rangers517

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#39  Edited By rangers517
@mikemcn said:

I always assumed metal gear was a playstation franchise, obviously it hasn't been in a long time, but i think sony would be smart to tie up that franchise for themselves. Besides metal gear why does konami even exist?

Yeah, it still is a PS franchise. Ground Zeroes sold 3x more on PS4 than Xone.

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baka_shinji17

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Whatever happens, I'm behind Kojima 100%.

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BisonHero

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@jeffDid you mean "peculiarly" instead of "particularly"?

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deactivated-5d000a93730da

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I'm not convinced this isn't a hoax

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MildMolasses

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Give it to Platinum or shut it the fuck down

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GValo

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I was really hoping to see someone remake MG/MG 2 and/or MGS in the Fox Engine like he wanted. I wonder if he owns the rights to it or if that's konami's.

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BigBoss1911

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Won't play anything Metal Gear without Kojima's name on it.

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Dberg

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As interesting as this news is, I expect the Kojima Curse will strike again. The rules of nature will bend as forces beyond our understanding conspire to make Kojima make Metal Gears until the end of time. And every one of them will be his last.

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ratamero

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Konami enters the military shooter market with a new Metal Gear following the Cobra Unit during WWII. You heard it here first.

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DHIATENSOR

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@amyggen: I'd love to see Sony make a play for him as it seems the most natural fit, but like Jeff says MS are the ones with the money to throw around and, as they're still playing catch up this gen, it would be exactly the kind of aggressive prestige move I could see them making. As a PS4 owner I very much hope it's the former!

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priorityseven

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Fuck yeah, Boktai! I loved that game! That screenshot made my day.

A fresh reboot of the MGS series could be potentially awesome, and Kojima out there doing his Koji-thang is a pretty exciting premise. Maybe Konami can reboot Zone of the Enders while they're tooling with Metal Gear?