Surprise: MGSV was very profitable on Day 1

So yeah, the whole Kojima Productions dismantling probably wasn’t about money.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain made $179 million globally on its opening day, according to Adobe Digital Index’s new report on gaming trends. Compare that to the blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron, which made $84 million globally on its opening day. Yes, The Phantom Pain made almost twice as much. So, the next time someone tells you that triple-A gaming is dying, you’re allowed to laugh in their face.

This shouldn’t be news, but of course there were countless commenters who replied to the controversy surrounding Kojima by saying MGSV’s budget was astronomical, the game would struggle to ever become profitable, etc.  Do these people realize that games cost over $60 USD each?  Did they realize that next-gen consoles have no games right now?  It will be interesting to see what the reaction is to this news.

This feat is even more impressive when you consider that Metal Gear Solid V had a cheaper budget. It cost $80 million to make, while Age of Ultron had a massive $250 million budget. And games already make more than film: Gaming will be worth $91.5 billion this year, according to research group Newzoo. Accounting firm PwC says that the movie industry will be worth $88.3 billion in 2015.

“The gaming industry is a lot bigger than most marketers realize,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst and director at Adobe in the report. “These games get more social buzz on opening day than most movies do, and the revenue for one of the top games this year outdid the highest-grossing movie start [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $91 million] by nearly double.”

Let’s act shocked.

Review vs. Analysis

I received an email recently from a reader who wasn’t impressed with my review.  He said that it felt like a kneejerk reaction against the game, without all of the nuance and insight that I usually give.  This was my reply to him, which may interest some of you:


My review was written as a judgment, not an analysis.  Most of my articles do not review MGS games, they study them, as you said.  For a review, however, the purpose is to decide what I personally like or dislike, and to criticize the product as a product.  MGSV is a product that costs money, and which either meets or fails to meet expectations of consumers who paid to experience it.  I am one of those consumers.  I’m not a disciple of Kojima.

If you read my actual review of MGS2, which follows at the end of my “Complete Breakdown” analysis, you’ll see that I also give it criticism in ways that I never did elsewhere.  Perhaps it’s rare, but I can simultaneously understand the deep intentions of Kojima and step back and judge his output from a more unbiased point of view.

With that said, my review is positive.  Perhaps you interpreted it as negative because you expected an analysis instead of a review.  My analysis will be in my book, and its too early for me to even get into that side of things at this point.  Once we know about what the hell happened during production with Konami and him I’ll feel more comfortable doing a meta analysis, but honestly, everyone else is pretty much on the same level as me until we hear more.

I appreciate the email and I knew that it would come off that way.  I also felt bad giving a judgment on it as a product, because my role has been an analyst for years, but that’s not nearly all I have to say about the game.  I hope you’ll look forward to a deeper analysis without judgment down the road, because I am too.

Like I said, though, I genuinely give it a positive review and don’t hate it.  Trust me that I can see the attempts at meta things better than anyone else out there, trying to be smart about the artistic intentions and the twist.  I have some important things to say about the meta aspect that I haven’t shared yet.  But i just wanted to get my EVALUATION of the PRODUCT out of the way while it was fresh, and I felt that I may as well articulate what people were experiencing.

I did pretty much insult the way it tried to be clever, but there is a sick habit going around the gaming community as a whole where people defend games based on everything except enjoyment and user experience.  We’re all experts now, familiar with behind-the-scenes production struggles, sympathizing with various creators, or even just what they represent.  “This game isn’t fun but it represents the indie scene and anti-corporate practices so I’m going to defend it!”.  But what about the experience itself?  Is it impossible to separate our view of a product from the production itself?

My REVIEW is about that 16 year old who picks up the game without knowing anything about Konami politics, but played some of the old games and wants to experience something worth their money.  My analysis will be about Kojima and the meaning of it all.

Phantom Pain theories survey

Some guy at Reddit has conducted a survey on which theories people believe.  I found the results interesting!

For example, more than twice as many people believe that Big Boss is replaced with a doppelganger at some point during the game than believe the “Quiet is Chico” theory.  More people still believe that Quiet is related to Sniper Wolf, and the majority of people believe she’s related to The End!  Of course that’s just one slice of the Metal Gear community.

Watch the “Megatrailer” now, please

YouTube user and Metal Gear fan Joshua Garrison has created this truly intriguing and exciting “Megatrailer” for Metal Gear Solid V.  It’s not simply all the trailers played one-after-another, but a single continuous trailer that is strategically edited to connect the dots, along with his great written speculation overlaid on top of the video.

I’m impressed, and I hope you guys share this around because right now it only has a piddly 820 views, when it should have at least 12,000.

It includes a great theory on what’s happening during the hospital rescue scene, which really stood out to me as plausible.

Eurogamer explains Mother Base and more, must-read & 60fps trailer

Real information and insight coming from Eurogamer (and probably others) about Phantom Pain, including a lot about Mother Base.

You manage your resources as you see fit and you choose how to expand Mother Base’s capabilities. Do you spend GMP, the in-game currency, on upgrading your defences with more UAVs, or invest in research and development? Either way, most of the time you’ll have a new platform construction somewhere in the distance – a future wing of your hexagonal home.

Read the impressions here.

Then watch the 60fps video — which makes a world of difference if you’ve only seen the YouTube stuff or live streams from E3 — on this page.