Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Metal Gear Solid: Rising Announcement for Xbox 360 Sparks Fanboy Anger/Rage

Here's a tip: if you fall under the same category as the angry people who just posted in Hideo Kojima's blog here, please, consider some mental / psychiatric help / treatment.


Preserved one angry comment for posterity; I have a feeling Konami / Hideo Kojima will clean out his comments section after today or after E3.

32 / Disappointed Fan / June 2, 2009 5:15 AM

Thank you guys for selling out to Microsoft! Thanks so much for now making the once great hardware pushing game, into a title limited by inferior hardware. Blu-Ray wasn't big enough? So you guys go to DVD9. Kojima's presentation on Raising the bar on stealth gaming? The bar was dropped. Thanks so much for going for money, and forgetting about innovation and super high quality. MGS4 was a masterpiece in terms of technical achievement, storytelling, and the swan song for Solid Snake. And now, MGS on the 360, is a complete 180 on that concept. Thanks so much Kojima Productions! Thanks so much. Way to go guys. Keep pushing yourselves. Next time, let's just make MGS5 a 360 exclusive! Because you need "DVD" type hardware and not "Theatre type" hardware.

Quick dose of reality:

1. It's just a game, people.

2. Corporations / businesses in the game industry are in it to make profit/money, and there's absolutely nothing wrong / immoral about that. It's their reason for existing. They aren't non-profit organizations. None of these game developers/console makers are in it because they like YOU individually, or they want to help you in some way. Yes, even if you have the biggest collection of Metal Gear memorabilia, it doesn't make you any more special than the other fans. It simply isn't realistic to think this way about how they operate; they do these things [make video games] to support themselves / their families.

Perhaps they also do it [make games] as a form of self-expression/art, true....but I think it's best to respect their decision(s) on how they run their gaming business. And besides, I don't think Hideo Kojima is ignoring his fans at all; on the contrary, he's trying to reach out to MORE potential fans by releasing his upcoming game on more consoles.

3. Perhaps promises were made early on with MGS4 about staying exclusive....remember that these game companies do these all the time. Again, it's business and companies stay alive because they make profit/income---making YOU "happy" is, realistically, secondary to continuing to successfully doing business.

The reality is, the United States is a VERY important market for gaming companies around the world. And the reality is, the Xbox 360 has the LARGEST installed base of consoles in the United States. Therefore, it's easy to see that it is in the best interest of Konami to serve the largest installed base of consoles in the United States, because it is the safest option for them to make a reasonable amount of profit. Gaming is a 'hits' business and it's very easy to be forgotten amidst the tidal wave of other games which easily become the 'next big thing' overnight, thanks to marketing and hype. So being profitable, despite what all the Media Create Japanese Sales Figures you may see online every week may have you think, is actually a much tougher challenge than it seems for any company in the gaming business. The 'safe' option, then, easily becomes the 'right' option, for any games-related business.

In a nutshell, making the Metal Gear Solid series available on the Xbox 360 is simply the most logical business decision Konami could ever make, given all the existing business realities of the current generation of consoles.

It's a fact that the Playstation 3 is well-behind the Xbox 360 in the USA, and the margin between both systems is just too great for Sony to catch up. I'm not saying that Sony's system is a bad system here; I'm just making this conclusion based on the simple facts given by the numbers that we know about installed bases of each system. To check on this, simply google NPD data on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, and it's easy to see that the Xbox 360 is the market leader if we're just talking about PS3 versus Xbox 360.

It's easy to bring up the Wii in this conversation, but given how technically advanced the Metal Gear Solid games seem to be, (with all the graphical detail, cutscenes, action sequences, etc) the Xbox 360 was probably seen by Konami as the most logical choice for the company to make a decent amount of profit on the franchise with minimal effort. Yes, they still do have the option to make a Wii version of any of their current or upcoming Metal Gear Solid games; but this would require a bit more work on their end, in terms of making their game capable of running on a system with far lesser technological advancement than both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.

In conclusion, any promises that Konami may have made in the past about exclusivity may never have been promises at all. I think some gamers easily perceive them as promises, particularly because of the wording that most companies use to entice gamers that they're on their side. There is no 'betrayal' here; Konami is simply doing what they as a business entity are meant to do...make money and be profitable.

Besides, being profitable is the only way all gamers around the world will be guaranteed that future games in the Metal Gear franchise will ever be made in the future. Profitability is the fuel that motivates inspiration for these gaming companies.

It's just the reality---learn to face it.

I won't deny that I heavily favor the Xbox 360 compared to other game consoles for this generation. However, if you look at the console's history, the Xbox 360 has had its fair share of lost exclusives. They never cause me to exhibit the same type of violent reaction shown by the ones on Kojima's blog, though. That's because it's easy for me to understand that it's just the ebb and flow of business, and I never implicitly recognize any promises of 'exclusivity' for any game as a kind of committed promise to me personally. I simply respect any decisions game companies have over game franchises which I know are duly owned by them. They can do whatever they want with their games.

All I care about is whether or not I get to play them, and whether they were actually any good.

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