MGSV: Tablets, user-generated content, episodic, multiplayer, and more! (updated)

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is going to do everything, according to this interview Hideo Kojima did with computerandvideogames.com.

  • Players will be able to create new missions for each other using tablets
  • A “vast” multiplayer mode is being developed in L.A. Kojima Productions
  • The game will be released explored episodically, with all of the missions in the game divided into “episodes” that can be explored at your leisure
  • Ground Zeroes (which will very likely be released on its own) will not feature a day/night cycle or weather patterns because it’s suppoed to help old players adjust to an open world Metal Gear
  • The engine is being designed to handle everything, because it’s going to be used for all sorts of Konami brands
  • The game will be released episodically, “like a TV show” (source) which means David Hayter could come back to voice Young Solid Snake down the road.  Or hell, it could mean a million things.

Update: The following picture-painting was under the impression that The Phantom Pain would be released episodically, which it won’t apparently.  The game is simply episodic in how you explore the different missions it offers.

This might be hard to wrap your head around, so let me paint a picture for you.

Afghanistan is huge, and the trailer only shows a relatively small part of the whole area.  Within the area there are a series of clues, “side quests”, and objectives that further the story but also just provide interesting benefits, but initially your goal is to rescue Kaz and escape with him on your back.  You get back to Mother Base (or its equivalent) and plan your next move.  You’re free to go back to Afghanistan and do other things, like kidnap people, steal technology and weapons, destroy enemy outposts, and so on.

Several areas are available with the initial release, including Cuba, and each of them can be revisited for strategic purposes, much like Peace Walker.  There may even be a tug-of-war style fight for territorial control.

Meanwhile, “Those Who Don’t Exist” are hunting Big Boss across the world, phantoms in his own mind, who essentially serve as boss fights in situations where there shouldn’t logically be any.  From a game design point of view it’s a perfect excuse to add new random challenges and extreme situations (flaming unicorn chase) anywhere.

One thing I bet we can count on is travelling the world to recruit new members, such as Emmerich, Quiet, Eli, and Code Talker.  Each of them is probably going to be on a different continent, and have their own aspect of the game to contribute.

Maybe it’s just me, but this sounds like a dream come true.  How the hell will this all work on the current platforms?  I don’t know.  Will multiplayer ever be cooperative?  Will tablets factor into that?  Could be.  We know that Ground Zeroes itself will be solo, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be added later to the main game, now that we know MGSV itself is going to have an online mode.

If Kojima can pull off even half of this stuff, it will be a truly monumental sequel.

F2P: TF2 money spike

At this year’s very boring GDC, Valve employee Joe Ludwig discussed something a little interesting: how going “Free to Play” with Team Fortress 2 exploded their company’s income.

That’s the graph, showing how revenue quadrupled thanks to the “Mannconomy” in which players craft, trade, and purchase individual items introduced by Valve and/or the community itself.  It was so profitable, he says that Team Fortress 2 would always have been free, if Valve had known how successful the business model would have been. (via IGN)

I’ve done some comparisons between Metal Gear Online and Team Fortress 2 before the “Mannconomy”, and I find it interesting how things have changed since then.  MGO is shutting down its servers in June, while Team Fortress 2 is raking in money by becoming free.  This is how it should be, of course.