Next Metal Gear Solid May Be Too Controversial to Release

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Next Metal Gear Solid May Be Too Controversial to Release

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Ground Zeroes won't be afraid to cross a few lines.

The Metal Gear saga has a bizarre stance on maturity. The stealth/action games often touch on serious current events (child soldiers, private military contractors, and posthumanism, to name a few), but counters these heavy topics with equally immature humor (I'm looking at you, Johnny Sasaki and your irritable bowel syndrome). Series creator Hideo Kojima wants to see games embrace mature themes, and though the medium isn't there yet, he hopes to set an example with the next Metal Gear Solid installment, Ground Zeroes.

"Over the past 25 years, I have tried to work with the Metal Gear series to try and introduce more mature themes," Kojima explained. "But really, it hasn't happened yet, compared to movies or books. There's still a long way to go. That's precisely what I want to try and tackle with my next project, Ground Zeroes."

We still don't know what message Ground Zeroes will have to tell: details on the game's story are thin at the moment, and what we do know is about as cryptic as one might expect from Kojima's infamously twisting plotlines. What we do know is that Hideo isn't interested in pulling any punches.

"I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes, that really are quite risky," he admitted. "Honestly, I'm not even sure if I'll be able to release the game! And even if I did release the game, maybe it wouldn't sell, because [the themes would be] just too much. But as a creator, I want to take that risk." Kojima acts as both creator and producer of Ground Zeroes, so technically it's his job to make sure the game sells well. "But I'm approaching this project from the point of view of a creator," he admits, "where I'm prioritizing creativity over sales."

Kojima justifies this focus on risky ideas by falling back on his other current project, Metal Gear Rising, which he expects will lend him a buffer zone of commercial success. "It's very possible that some time in the future after Ground Zeroes is out, I may be called up by management," Kojima laughed, "who will say, "Kojima! What are you doing? Ground Zeroes isn't selling! What have you done?" And at that point I'll [hopefully be able to] say, "Don't worry! Rising is selling well!"

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is expected to hit shelves later in 2013, so you can see for yourself how far Mr. Kojima has advanced the medium.

Source: Spong

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Kojima shouldn't have anything to be afraid about.

As gamers and fans we want to see new directions in gaming let alone story and pushing for more mature taboos and themes is something I'm sure we'd all like rather than sticking with the same formula for the next 4 games.

Already been playing Metal Gear Rising and so far it's been good and totally changed my stance on the game since before it's release I was really sceptical about where it would go and I can now say I'm happy and look forward to seeing where it goes on from there.

Even though I think he's snooker loopy, I admire him quite a bit. Someone needs to try and do this stuff, even if it's going to be in year-long cutscenes.

...I still loved MGS4 though. I do accept I'm a bit of a Metal Gear fanboy.

This can go two ways:
1) It's a deep, affecting, mature story that deals with heavy themes and is better than most other medium's take on the subjects due to using the inherent interactivity of games to it's advantage, like Spec Ops.
2) It's a twisted, convoluted, pretentious mess of poor story and odd gameplay that makes WH40K look like Kirby and features too many over-the-top or intetionlly silly moments to be taken seriously.
Either way, idiot fans are gonna bitch about the lack of Snake, unless this is a prequel that involves Snake, which I highly doubt. Personally, though I've never actually play a Metal Gear game (flame me all you like) I really hope Hideo pulls it off. I'm a sucker for a good story.

Shadow-Phoenix:
Kojima shouldn't have anything to be afraid about.

As gamers and fans we want to see new directions in gaming let alone story and pushing for more mature taboos and themes is something I'm sure we'd all like rather than sticking with the same formula for the next 4 games.

Already been playing Metal Gear Rising and so far it's been good and totally changed my stance on the game since before it's release I was really sceptical about where it would go and I can now say I'm happy and look forward to seeing where it goes on from there.

This.

Also, do we know if this will be releasing on Next-Gen Consoles? Little to no news on this game coupled with the fact that I do believe it will have a delayed release in early/mid 2014 lead me to believe that this will be a "next-gen" game. Weren't they also making a new engine for this game as well?

I don't always like the results, but I do appreciate the fact that for a franchise as big as Metal Gear is, Kojima seems very willing to take risks with it. I'm hoping he follows through with the idea of a game based on The Boss and the Cobras.

Well, we have no idea what these themes could be...

Still, glad to see Kojima deciding to push the envelope. A lot of games are playing it way too safe nowadays.

Also, I'm starting to wonder if Rising really is selling well.

I must admit, it's odd to see a Kojima article without the duck picture.

But it's good to see someone saying they are looking to mature themes in gaming. Even if that same person was behind a game were the Sixaxis could be used to jiggle a woman's boobs, but I'll take what I can get.

Especially considering MGS is one of my favourite series in gaming.

Kojima will let Ground Zeros do the talking.
Just like all his other games :P

Give me a fucking break. It's not like Kojima's the first guy to make a game with controversial subject matter, and it's hardly gonna matter when it comes to sales. It's a Metal Gear Solid game, it's going to sell.

Mind you, I'm all for taking the series in a more mature direction, but saying he might not be able to release it? Unless the whole thing turns out be a 15 hour interactive aristocrats joke I kinda doubt it'll be a problem.

Oh gawd. The idea of not getting to play Metal Gear 5... Too.. Much... To bear...

I love the idea of the game focusing on serious stuff. I doubt it won't get released though. The only games that get rated Adult (the highest) in America are porn games. Unless...

Although I appreciate the fact that someone is willing to take the "creativity over profitability" stance, it's got to be a hell of a lot easier to make when you've got the kind of brand recognition that Metal Gear does. I can't believe that this is apparently coming out later this year being that this is the first I've heard of it.

Ground Zeroes = 9/11 reference?

Oh, yeah. Controversy never sells. <eye roll>

Being as it's Kojima, and I'd like to believe his comments come from a slightly less "scandal sells" cultural perspective than my native one, I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and presume he's serious about his outlook and concern and not merely drumming up advance press. That said, it's hard to imagine a game's controversy making it a pariah these days unless it was also lacking as a game. Shock us in a good game, we're impressed. Shock us in a bad one, we're more likely to turn on the shocking element as "gratuitous".

Oh yeah, the old Crawford-Kojima-Cage-Yohalem waltz of video game depth.

Self-centered Developer: VIDEO GAMES ARE TOO SCARED OF MATURE THEMES. BEHOLD MY VIDEOGAME ABOUT SEXISM/RACISM/RAPE/CHILD SOLDIERS/POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM COLLAPSE IN WHICH I PUSH ALL OF THE BOUNDARIES
Serious Gamers: Wow, I've been waiting for a game that deals with these serious themes in a sensible manner for ages! Maybe this will finally be a big game that's also smart:
Game: *sounds of farting*
Serious Gamers: This is horrible. For a theme that they claimed was the driving force behind the game's entire concept, their research on it seems to have consisted on asking an intoxicated college hippie what they thought of it. There's not a single conclusion the game leads to that hasn't been made, rebutted and recreated by everyone who is familiar with this subject to any degree higher than 'read a book about it once'.
Self-centered Developer: OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE TOO AFRAID OF MY SERIOUS THEMES, ONCE AGAIN MY GENIUS REMAINS UNAPPRECIATED BY THE UNWASHED MASSES

Some of his concerns over these "taboos" are probably normal everyday subject matter for western audiences. Then again, he's probably just straight up lying to drum up interest, since that's the only tactic he's used since MGS2.

Gearhead mk2:
This can go two ways:
1) It's a deep, affecting, mature story that deals with heavy themes and is better than most other medium's take on the subjects due to using the inherent interactivity of games to it's advantage, like Spec Ops.
2) It's a twisted, convoluted, pretentious mess of poor story and odd gameplay that makes WH40K look like Kirby and features too many over-the-top or intetionlly silly moments to be taken seriously.
Either way, idiot fans are gonna bitch about the lack of Snake, unless this is a prequel that involves Snake, which I highly doubt. Personally, though I've never actually play a Metal Gear game (flame me all you like) I really hope Hideo pulls it off. I'm a sucker for a good story.

Don't worry you didn't need to say you had never played a metal gear game it was really obvious from what you said.

Hmmm perhaps he is talking about how Big Boss will do a lot of nasty things when the situation calls for it? Wouldn't be surprised if he would torture enemies, recruit child soldiers and perhaps commit war crimes?

Xarathox:
Some of his concerns over these "taboos" are probably normal everyday subject matter for western audiences. Then again, he's probably just straight up lying to drum up interest, since that's the only tactic he's used since MGS2.

Somebody has not seen the phantom pain trailer ;p

DrunkOnEstus:
Although I appreciate the fact that someone is willing to take the "creativity over profitability" stance, it's got to be a hell of a lot easier to make when you've got the kind of brand recognition that Metal Gear does. I can't believe that this is apparently coming out later this year being that this is the first I've heard of it.

I agree also the initial trailer has been around for a good whiles but not much else about it has been said so it is easy to see how it fell under the radar.

"I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes, that really are quite risky,"

Good more taboos need to be broken. Hey if games want to be seen more like film then we need to have gaming equivalents of the Serbian Film. Not that film specifically just the type of films that really push the boundaries in terms of horrible acts displayed on the screen, torture porn would be in that genre. There are more of those films than you'd think.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/moviebob/9974-Test-Your-Might-Round-2

BrotherRool:
Ground Zeroes = 9/11 reference?

No, Ground Zero is a term for a point of origin of something devastating. For example, the Ground Zeroes for the atomic bomb are Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

Well, I'm certainly glad he has the right spirit at least, even for a content creator as successful as himself.

On the other hand, I don't totally agree with him that video games haven't/aren't tackling mature themes, but whatever. A focus on creativity over safety is almost always a good thing.

Gearhead mk2:
This can go two ways:
1) It's a deep, affecting, mature story that deals with heavy themes and is better than most other medium's take on the subjects due to using the inherent interactivity of games to it's advantage, like Spec Ops.
2) It's a twisted, convoluted, pretentious mess of poor story and odd gameplay that makes WH40K look like Kirby and features too many over-the-top or intetionlly silly moments to be taken seriously.
Either way, idiot fans are gonna bitch about the lack of Snake, unless this is a prequel that involves Snake, which I highly doubt. Personally, though I've never actually play a Metal Gear game (flame me all you like) I really hope Hideo pulls it off. I'm a sucker for a good story.

You play as Big Boss who is the original snake so the fans shouldnt complain about the lack of Solid Snake. It takes place almost directly after peace walker which was the psp game and was in the mgs collection for 360 and ps3.

DrunkOnEstus:
Although I appreciate the fact that someone is willing to take the "creativity over profitability" stance, it's got to be a hell of a lot easier to make when you've got the kind of brand recognition that Metal Gear does. I can't believe that this is apparently coming out later this year being that this is the first I've heard of it.

Its not really surprising that you have not heard about it. They released a single 15 minute gameplay/trailer several months back and that is it. I think it was at the mgs 25th anniversary or something like that.

antigodoflife:

BrotherRool:
Ground Zeroes = 9/11 reference?

No, Ground Zero is a term for a point of origin of something devastating. For example, the Ground Zeroes for the atomic bomb are Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.

Cheers! That makes a lot more sense with the time frame its set in to

The Random One:
Oh yeah, the old Crawford-Kojima-Cage-Yohalem waltz of video game depth.

Self-centered Developer: VIDEO GAMES ARE TOO SCARED OF MATURE THEMES. BEHOLD MY VIDEOGAME ABOUT SEXISM/RACISM/RAPE/CHILD SOLDIERS/POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER/SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM COLLAPSE IN WHICH I PUSH ALL OF THE BOUNDARIES
Serious Gamers: Wow, I've been waiting for a game that deals with these serious themes in a sensible manner for ages! Maybe this will finally be a big game that's also smart:
Game: *sounds of farting*
Serious Gamers: This is horrible. For a theme that they claimed was the driving force behind the game's entire concept, their research on it seems to have consisted on asking an intoxicated college hippie what they thought of it. There's not a single conclusion the game leads to that hasn't been made, rebutted and recreated by everyone who is familiar with this subject to any degree higher than 'read a book about it once'.
Self-centered Developer: OBVIOUSLY YOU ARE TOO AFRAID OF MY SERIOUS THEMES, ONCE AGAIN MY GENIUS REMAINS UNAPPRECIATED BY THE UNWASHED MASSES

Because what we as gamers need is intellectual elitism. That'll really advance the medium when we scoff at any attempt to address complicated topics as being poorly done because the writers of videogames cant trump academic study. Seriously though, in a medium where "that ones red, I must shoot it because I'm blue" do we really need to lay into the folks that try?

OT: I doubt it'll be too controversial to release, like everyones pointed, having MGS on the box guarantees sales
Hopefully gameplay'll be good too. Kojima. You're remembering its a GAME this time right, Kojima?

"I'm going to be targeting a lot of taboos, a lot of mature themes, that really are quite risky,"

All right everyone place your bets. I've got betting odds right here.

I've never played more than 20 minutes of a metal gear solid game so I do not know the story or what Hideo Kojima writes about at all. But I do know what is considered taboo in games so without further ado.

The intentional killing of children by protagonists 3:1
Rape 9:1
Torture done by protagonists 5:2
Child molestation 10:1
Necrophilia 14:1 (you know I've seen enough discussions about it on the escapist that I don't think it would go over that badly by gamers if it were done).
Bestiality 16:1
Domestic animal abuse 15:1
Buying two poverty stricken pregnant women and telling them that they won't get out of the arena alive until one has eaten the other's fetus 2,000:1 But that would make for one hell of a game.

aba1:

Xarathox:
Some of his concerns over these "taboos" are probably normal everyday subject matter for western audiences. Then again, he's probably just straight up lying to drum up interest, since that's the only tactic he's used since MGS2.

Somebody has not seen the phantom pain trailer ;p

Well, I just did. Didn't even know about it(I don't follow the industry much anymore). Looks interesting, but I fail to see what it has to do with my previous comment?

Xarathox:

aba1:

Xarathox:
Some of his concerns over these "taboos" are probably normal everyday subject matter for western audiences. Then again, he's probably just straight up lying to drum up interest, since that's the only tactic he's used since MGS2.

Somebody has not seen the phantom pain trailer ;p

Well, I just did. Didn't even know about it(I don't follow the industry much anymore). Looks interesting, but I fail to see what it has to do with my previous comment?

You were saying Hideo only advertises one way and this whole trailer is giant easter egg to the point literally nothing in it says it is even a metal gear solid game at all even the company just sprung up out of the ground. I would say the trailer is a very unique way of sturing up interest especially since it hides any relation to mgs at all.

BrotherRool:
Ground Zeroes = 9/11 reference?

Nah you can get away with referencing 9/11 now, not like in MGS2 when they had to edit out the Arsenal Gear ramming into Manhattan for it.

Nazis, however...

ok....MGS...even more 'mature' then usual ...and thinking of western politics and controversial subjects;

Child soldiers

Killing children

Rape/incest

False flag terrorisim plotline

PLaying as Big Boss who officially becomes a terrorist

Attacking the US

Weird moment in MGS2; Otacan left home because his dad killed himself because Otacon boned his step mum

weird moment in MGS3; Snake; she was like my mother and my master. Eva: your lover? . Me?!?!!?! wtf!!

aba1:

Xarathox:

aba1:

Somebody has not seen the phantom pain trailer ;p

Well, I just did. Didn't even know about it(I don't follow the industry much anymore). Looks interesting, but I fail to see what it has to do with my previous comment?

You were saying Hideo only advertises one way and this whole trailer is giant easter egg to the point literally nothing in it says it is even a metal gear solid game at all even the company just sprung up out of the ground. I would say the trailer is a very unique way of sturing up interest especially since it hides any relation to mgs at all.

True I suppose. It is an interesting trailer.

He's still a liar. :P

Xarathox:

aba1:

Xarathox:

Well, I just did. Didn't even know about it(I don't follow the industry much anymore). Looks interesting, but I fail to see what it has to do with my previous comment?

You were saying Hideo only advertises one way and this whole trailer is giant easter egg to the point literally nothing in it says it is even a metal gear solid game at all even the company just sprung up out of the ground. I would say the trailer is a very unique way of sturing up interest especially since it hides any relation to mgs at all.

True I suppose. It is an interesting trailer.

He's still a liar. :P

lmao ohh you and your convictions XD

So, Metal Gear 2 wasn't crossing the line?

Meh, I'll end up quietly buying this game anyways.

TheRightToArmBears:
Even though I think he's snooker loopy, I admire him quite a bit. Someone needs to try and do this stuff, even if it's going to be in year-long cutscenes.

...I still loved MGS4 though. I do accept I'm a bit of a Metal Gear fanboy.

Same here. While I'll admit, MGS4 has some LOOOOOOONG cutscenes, that didn't ruin the overall experience for me.

OT: I have yet to play Rising. Perhaps I'll get around to it eventually, but for now, I'm looking forward to Ground Zeroes.

Father Time:

Torture done by protagonists 5:2

Considering that there's a torture sequence in nearly every Metal Gear Solid game, it would be pretty interesting to see the tables turn in Snake's favor. Not sure how one would handle something like that though.

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