Home

Browse

GameSkinny


Search

Login

5 controversies that will haunt the legacy of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

An iconic game that will also be remembered for its controversy.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was a long-awaited game in an iconic series, and one of the most highly anticipated games of 2015. It's also a game that has been plagued with a lot of controversy during its development.

From a new voice actor to the infamous Kojima/Konami dispute, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has seen its fair share of turmoil. And some of those controversies could haunt the game forever. In honor of it being the fifth MGS title, here are 5 MGS V controversies that the game might never shake off. 

5. Microtransactions

As the release date approached, it was unveiled that microtransactions would be part of the online experience. Players who participated in the PvP feature could develop extra Forward Operation Bases (FOB), using MB Coins as currency.

Fans were outraged, as the practice of microtransactions has been very controversial in the gaming industry. Other games have faced the same kind of backlash when opting for microtransactions in the online gameplay. 

Things only got worst when Konami introduced FOB insurance, a feature that has players pay real money to recover lost resources. This only added fuel to the fire. Players bemoaned the microtransactions, while many in the media were quick to denounce the feature.

4. Kiefer Sutherland replaces David Hayter

The first big controversy to hit Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was the rumor that David Hayter would not return as the voice of Big Boss. Gamers were shocked to learn that the rumors were true, and that he had been replaced with Kiefer Sutherland.

Fans of the series were either outraged or conflicted, as Hayter had been the voice of Snake and Big Boss since Metal Gear Solid. On the other had, Sutherland was well-known for his role as Jack Bauer on 24, so we knew he had what it took to play a badass character.

But here's one of the biggest problems: Big Boss is driven by resentment and the desire to continue the legacy of his mentor. Jack Bauer is the personification of a hero America needed to look up to in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. We all wondered whether Sutherland would be able to separate himself from that patriotic role and bring to life the much darker motivations of Big Boss.

3. Quiet's outfit and sexual assault

The portrayal of women in gaming has been a hot topic issue in recent years, and the use of rape in games is always a lightning rod for controversy. So it should not have been a surprise when gamers had a problem with Quiet's skimpy outfit and the use of sexual violence.  

Back in December 2013, it was revealed that the ESRB had listed Sexual Violence among the reasons why Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes had received an M rating. This was because of an audio recording of Paz being gang-raped while she was detained at Camp Omega. Even though it was an audio recording, many gamers found it to be very disturbing.

And most of us were not too pleased with Quiet's lack of clothing, along with the fact she never speaks. As if that wasn't bad enough, the beginning of Mission 45: A Quiet Exit, shows Quiet narrowly escaping sexual assault by a soldier. 

Many felt that her attire was at best juvenile and at worst incredibly sexist. And the lame excuse they gave us doesn't really help either. She breathes through her skin because of the parasites? Sure. It seems that if hypnotherapy and extensive facial reconstruction can turn a random medic into a supersoldier, someone in the MGSV universe would be able to create more breathable fabric.

 

2. Ground Zeroes short playtime

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain were first announced back in 2012 simply as Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. However, the project was split due to the long development time and Kojima's desire to give players a sample of what to expect. 

Gamers were excited to sample the next chapter in the iconic series, until it was revealed that it had a playtime of only two hours. Many felt that Konami was trying to pass off a demo as a real game 

Kojima assured gamers that there was more to Ground Zeroes then the main game, but fans were not appeased. The controversy forced the game to undergo several price cuts before and after its release. But for some fans, that still wasn't enough.

1. The Kojima/Konami dispute

Of all the controversies that have plagued the development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, none has been as detrimental as the feud between Konami and Hideo Kojima.

News of a breakdown in their relationship first became public when the Kojima Studios credit and Kojima's name were removed from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Konami also removed his name from the game's official box art.

Next came one of the most controversial decisions of the year: Konami announced that production of Silent Hills had been canceled. The announcement enraged gamers, and Guillermo del Toro announced that he would never work on another video game. 

Allegedly, the root of the dispute is that Konami is undergoing a change in structure, and they want to focus more on mobile gaming. At the same time, the leadership at Konami was not happy that the production host of The Phantom Pain had hit $80 million. More than likely, those were both contributing factors to the fallout.

The dispute has been a disaster for Konami's public image, as most of the gaming community has sided with Kojima. The industry has taken a more mediated approach, either asking that they bury the hatchet or passively taking a pro-Kojima stance. 

Despite the turmoil, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is one of the best games of 2015 and a fitting conclusion to the series. Did any of these controversies make you reconsider the game? What's your opinion on some of these issues? Let us know in the comments below!

Published Oct. 11th 2015
  • Si_W
    What I find odd about this is that all bar the last would appear to be decisions made by Kojima rather than Konami. Maybe they're not, but they seem that way.

    And yet Konami are being treated as the main villains and Kojima as the heroic victim.
  • topher339
    It's just a game. People should leave it be.

    Most people probably weren't affected to the point where they refused to buy the game. In fact, most of the people I know who refused to buy it refused to because Hayter was no longer Snake. He did, however, do a good job with the role. It's unfortunate that the Boss was so quiet in Phantom Pain.

    Microtransactions only take place online and don't affect the game in any huge way. It's simply the idea of microtransactions that annoy people. It really only affects the relatively few people who use pvp.

    As far as quiet goes, there's been worse. Movies and tv shows have had similar things. Women in skimpy clothing is nothing new in the entertainment world but for some reason it's something considered taboo for games. Rape also happens in cinema. It's also a fact of life. It happens and it's terrible but that should not mean it should be censored from everything.

    Ground Zeroes was a mistake. It's more than a demo and a good bit of work went into it. It does come short of a full game though and is not even close to being worth full price. They should have started at $20. It's a fair enough price for the content. I certainly wasn't willing to pay $40 but I did pick it up for half off.

    The Konami/Kojima dispute is unfortunate but I don't think that there is much to be done about it. Konami's reputation is worth than ever and it will be hard to for them to come back from that. Metal Gear is apparently going to continue to be produced but much of fan base will be very skeptical of these non-Kojima games.

    I think many of these will eventually be forgotten in light of it's success and the love of it's fans. Wait a few months, maybe a year, and no one will care about the current controversies. That tends to be how controversies work. They're resolved then forgotten.

Cached - article_comments_article_28728
Related
More Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Content

GameSkinny Newsletter

Get Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain news the moment it happens!

You have been successfully subscribed to this newsletter.