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Konami Should Sell Metal Gear Solid, But to Whom?
Konami as a video game developer/publisher is currently in a very peculiar position. Hideo Kojima left, Silent Hills shut down, and now they working on a zombie-centric Metal Gear game.
It is clear the executives that are currently at the helm of the company aren’t very familiar with how to handle its IPs, and how to communicate with the community.
Konami CEO Kagemasa Kozuki even went on to say that mobile gaming is the “future of gaming.” Revenues for Konami’s Digital Entertainment business are shrinking and interestingly, Konami’s non-gaming businesses are generating more revenue.
Konami isn’t the only company suffering, Japan’s gaming industry, in general, is disrupted by the rise of mobile. User focus has shifted from dedicated gaming platforms to applications and online games on smartphone devices. As a result, traditional game companies are facing unprecedented disruption.
Metal Gear Solid is the biggest IP Konami owns and developing another installment would require a significant sum of money, which in fact, Konami isn’t willing to spend.
So one wonders, what if Konami sells Metal Gear Solid to someone who is not only capable of spending money but is also capable of doing justice to the legacy of Metal Gear.
Konami’s focus is shifting and right now the company is in no condition to work on a major video game release. Be it Metal Gear, Silents Hills, or Castlevania. Most of their lead developers walked with Hideo Kojima and are now at Kojima Productions.
It is time Konami considers letting go of Metal Gear for its own good and focus on mobile gaming and Pachinko Machines. Selling major IPs is nothing new to the gaming industry, the most recent example is Epic Games handing over Gears of War to Microsoft. Meanwhile, Microsoft also acquired Minecraft.
Kenji Yano, a Japanese editor and reputed close friend of Kojima-san, recently expressed his view about Metal Gear Solid and Hideo Kojima departure. He stated that the franchise is dead without its creator.
And that is exactly how we feel; especially, after seeing Metal Gear Survive. It is clear that Konami is not capable of keeping this franchise alive, so who is?
In my personal opinion, Crystal Dynamics, the creator of Tomb Raider games can be put in charge of this iconic franchise. The developer successfully managed to create an interesting storyline and beautifully structured Tomb Raider and its stealth elements around it.
There is no doubt that Crystal Dynamics can handle Metal Gear but can it work on an open world Metal Gear game? Its games have been somewhat linear while Metal Gear Solid has seen the dawn of open world courtesy of MGSV.
However, the series can always go back to being linear or semi-linear.
Which studio do you think is the most capable of working on a Metal Gear game? Do you think Konami should sell the IP?