I was awake late at night a few days ago when I saw something glorious on my computer screen. A remade version of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater! The graphics looked fantastic and I was excited… for about a minute. Upon further inspection, it turned out Konami was just advertising a project rumored to have been in the works since the release of Metal Gear Solid V and the departure of series creator Hideo Kojima: They’re turning Metal Gear into a casino game.
If you don’t know, pachinko is a game not unlike a cross between pinball and a slot machine that originated in Japan, and is used both for recreation and gambling. And now, one of the greatest stories ever seen in a video game, with some of the best gameplay of all time is being turned into one of these machines.
If you can’t relate to Metal Gear or aren’t a fan of the series, I’ll describe it like this: Say George R.R. Martin or HBO unexpectedly announced that Game of Thrones would be ending so they could pursue other business ventures, and then eight months later they announced they’ll be coming out with Game of Thrones slot machines, featuring classic scenes from the show re-filmed in 4k with the same actors and plot, and this was the only place you could see that footage. That’s kind of how it feels to me.
This is just the latest in a series of missteps by Konami made in recent memory. They fired one of the only people keeping their company afloat, Hideo Kojima. They rushed Metal Gear Solid V out the door because of the firing and openly admitted that there was an unfinished ending to the game. And now there’s this. If Konami wants to rebuild their connection with fans, they will have to work exceptionally hard to undo these mistakes and prove that they’re still a competent games company; not just to their fans, but to the entire gaming community.