In the nerdy cloisters of the Metal Gear community there’s always been debate over which of the games in the series are considered “canon”, “main series”, “spinoff”, and so on. Like religious texts, the games have been given various tiers of dogmatic importance, citing interviews, timelines, box sets, and everything else that might hint at what we’re officially allowed to enjoy. Or something. It certainly affected my score of Rising.
Kojima has always been evasive about this, because it’s bad for business to drop a game from the official mythology of the series. It instantly goes from being gospel doctrine to apocryphal stories, so-to-speak. But now Kojima is finally being clear, in an interview with IGN:
“I always say ‘this will be my last Metal Gear,'” Kojima said, “but the games in the series that I’ve personally designed and produced — Metal Gear on MSX, MG2, MGS1, 2, 3, 4, Peace Walker, and now MGSV — are what constitute a single ‘Metal Gear Saga.’ With MGSV, I’m finally closing the loop on that saga. In that sense, this will be the final ‘Metal Gear Solid,'” Kojima continued. “Even if the ‘Metal Gear’ franchise continues, this is the last ‘Metal Gear.'””
Is it arguable that games like Ghost Babel, Portable Ops or Metal Gear Rising don’t have to be part of what Kojima calls “a single ‘Metal Gear Saga'” for them to still be considered “canon”? He doesn’t use the word canon in the interview, but if you really listen to what he’s saying, if MGSV is going to be “the last Metal Gear” simply because Kojima won’t be designing and producing future games, then by definition this makes any non-Kojima game a non-Metal Gear game.
The debates will surely rage on, but with a specific list of 8 games named by Kojima that constitute the definitive Metal Gear Saga, that debate is pointless.