Last night in Japan Kojima Productions held the Metal Gear 25th Anniversary event. It was a closed event, so streaming was sadly not permitted. Several big announcements about future Kojima Productions projects were announced. Some good, some questionable:
Metal Gear Solid Movie: Yes, it’s true: after years of speculation, a Metal Gear Solid film is a reality. The film rights are owned by Columbia Pictures and Sony. Avi Arad, whom you know from all those award-winning Marvel films, will be the producer. What awards, you ask? How about the award for best one-liner and best metallic punch sound effect? Yeah, that guy.
Metal Gear: Social Ops: Do you guys like social games yet? Well, Metal Gear: Special Ops will be a developed by GREE, makers of those social games that ruin lives in Japan. Android and iOS owners worldwide can look forward to reliving some famous battles from the Metal Gear series (on a tiny screen) this year.
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zero[es]: Isn’t it a little soon for a 9/11 joke, Kojima? Won’t someone please think of the children. But seriously, this announcement is the only one that makes my cold heart feel anything. Word is that the game will use Kojima’s new FOX Engine which promises to literally remove your socks using CQC. There is also talk of Ground Zero being the first open-world experience in a Metal Gear title, which is quite exciting.
BEGIN RANT….. (tune CODEC to 141.48 for full rant)…..
OK, so. First of all I gotta say that I have very mixed feelings about the direction of Metal Gear Soild based on the past few years. My concerns definitely began incubating right around the time of the first Rising trailer. I understand that Kojima wants to relinquish creative control of the franchise in the future so he can work on his own projects. That’s cool, but pawning off titles on Platinum Games, GREE, and now… Hollywood… I guess I’d hoped he’d entrust it to people who appreciate the subtlety and style that he’s cultivated since becoming such a big part of Metal Gear. Instead it feels like he’s entrusting the franchise to companies who can make the most money off of the name. I don’t get the clear sense of innovation or trailblazing any longer. Rather it feels like there is no longer an interest in making a new path, just traveling down the well-beaten path littered with dolla dolla bill ya’ll.
And another thing. Who are the people who think, “if it’s good in one form of media, it’s good in ALL forms!” I’ll tell you who thinks that way: the people who make money off of selling other forms of media. The reason Metal Gear Solid succeeds as a tactical espionage experience is because of the sneaking you, the player (not watcher), engage in. That won’t translate to film because you’ll simply be watching some actor with perfectly manicured stubble make clever passes at Sniper Wolf whose outfit somehow got even more revealing. Oh, and now the wolves talk. One of them has Gilbert Godfrey’s voice.
As for GREE… I personally associate them with shallow yet profitable mini-games. I know it’s naive to think that money doesn’t matter in this business; it does. But, god damn… GREE? That feels a little like signing a contract with the devil. I BET THE DEVIL MAKES BETTER GAMES.