Myth: Metal Gear was always a Sony franchise! Rising is a betrayal!
Fact: The Metal Gear series itself was never an exclusive to any company's platform.
By Ravi Singh Posted on June 28 2010
With the announcement of Metal Gear Solid: Rising at E3 2009 came a wave of hate. On the Kojima Productions English HideoBlog where a podcast that was made adjacent to the announcement were comments calling Kojima Productions "traitors." People were implying that the developers "sold out" and as a result "lost a fan" or two. The Japanese HideoBlog for the corresponding HideoBlog post seemed to ignite less wrath from their fans, but there still a few comments implying "disappointment."
What was it about the announcement of Rising that made fans so damn angry? Is it because Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was supposed to be the last Metal Gear game? No, fans seemed to be supportive of the announcements for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and Guns of the Patriots itself even though Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was supposed to be the end. Was it the possibility that the main playable character might be Raiden? No, it seems like even the folks who despised the character in Sons of Liberty actually wanted him to be playable in ninja form in Guns of the Patriots. Is it the "Lightning Bolt Action" that implies the game might not have traditional Metal Gear gameplay (which was confirmed during E3 2010)? No it wasn't that either, as people seemed to want what they called "a fresh new experience." What was it that made these people so damn angry?
The Sony fanboy painfully recalls better days when the latest Metal Gear games could be used as firepower in a console war debate.
It was because Metal Gear Solid: Rising was the first Metal Gear game that was announced as a multiplatform title. Specifically, it was because the game will be available for Xbox 360 and PC in addition to the PlayStation 3. Kojima Productions apparently are "traitors" for not making another Sony exclusive. It was "disappointing" to some to see the development team "sell out" by developing a game for non-Sony platforms. After all, these fans claim, games in the Metal Gear series has always been Sony exclusives, right?
The obvious examples of why Metal Gear was never a "Sony series" are some of the ports, re-releases and games that in general don't take place in the main series. Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance was available on Xbox and PC as well as the PlayStation 2. Likewise, Metal Gear Solid: Integral was ported to PC by Digital Dialect and was the only version of Integral available outside of Japan. Metal Gear Arcade is basically an enhanced port of Guns of the Patriots' Metal Gear Online for arcades. Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, released as Metal Gear Solid outside of Japan, was a Nintendo Game Boy Color exclusive. The recent Metal Gear Solid: Touch game is an exclusive to Apple's touchpad devices. More recently, a Metal Gear title for the Nintendo 3DS was announced which may or may not be a 3D remake of Snake Eater, once a PlayStation 2 exclusive.
Clearly from these releases we can see that Metal Gear is not a Sony exclusive series, but it doesn't seem to be enough to convince the angry fanboys. After all, all of the PlayStation Portable Metal Gear titles and Guns of the Patriots have yet to be seen on a non-Sony platform. Likewise it is hard to deny the impact of Guns of the Patriots in the console wars. It remains one of the few exclusives in this generation of gaming that is actually an exclusive. Most of the people crying over Rising being available on the Xbox 360 probably only give a shit about Guns of the Patriots because it is a PlayStation 3 exclusive even though it shouldn't be a big fucking deal if they did port it.
It would be a bit of a stretch for even a fanboy to claim that loyalty to Sony had anything to do with Guns of the Patriots remaining an exclusive, but this myth in general is farfetched to begin with. The real reason why Guns of the Patriots remains a PlayStation 3 exclusive is because they don't need to port it. In other words, the development costs were low enough to the point where they a port would actually be a bad investment. In response to the erroneous article made by Digital Battle that claims a budget of $60 million for Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Production's Kenichiro Imaizumi objected and similarly explained why Guns of the Patriots remains a PlayStation 3 exclusive.
This makes sense even from a non-business perspective. If the game cost a certain amount to produce they would have to expand the audience by making it multiplatform in order to make up for the cost. I have no idea if Rising's development costs are set to pale Guns of the Patriots but it's a possibility. Mr. Imaizumi's statement also implies that the reason why Guns of the Patriots remains a PlayStation 3 exclusive is because it doesn't need to be ported.
There are a number of reasons why there must be a need for a port. Porting a video game requires capital and resources. In previous endeavors Kojima Productions and it's former incarnations left the porting to other teams. Substance's Xbox version and the ports for Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake were rare in that they were developed in-house, but other ports and remakes were not. Substance's PC version was done by Japanese developer Success and Integral's PC version was published by Microsoft in addition to being developed by a third-party entity. Even the remake of Metal Gear Solid to the Nintendo GameCube, The Twin Snakes, was developed by Silicon Knights who were contracted by Nintendo. Clearly Kojima Productions aren't really in the business of porting games.
Rising is not a PlayStation 3 exclusive because the required resources to create a title for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC is nonexistent. The extra money that will be brought in through purchases of the Xbox 360 and PC version from gamers who otherwise would not have purchased this title (due to not having access to a PlayStation 3) negatives the little extra cost in development due to developing the title for all three platforms at once. This rings especially true when taking the time into consideration–the gap between PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 was once wide as shown by early multiplatform titles but it is getting smaller and smaller. This would have been a pipe dream during the development of Guns of the Patriots. If it was possible back then, Guns of the Patriots could have been the first Metal Gear title to launch as a multiplatform title. This is all thanks to the advancements in technology and a greater understanding of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The fanboy's loss is everyone's gain.
A lot of these console fanboys seem to be completely ignorant of the complete Metal Gear history as well. The first Sony exclusive Metal Gear title, Metal Gear Solid, was originally being developed as a 3DO title. The first two Metal Gear titles were MSX2 exclusives. Sure, Sony made some MSX hardware, but the MSX computing architecture standard itself was launched by Microsoft's Japanese division. Then there was that awful remake for the NES which was released within a year of the MSX original. It just goes to say that when there is a Metal Gear game being made, the platform it is being developed for has absolutely nothing to do with companies being "faithful" to other companies. Nor should it be that way. This is an industry, not a marriage.There are 78 comments in our discussion thread.