[dropcap size=big]R[/dropcap]ecently a Kickstarter by the name of “Metal Gear Solid 1 PS4 Remake” popped up and drew attention. At first blush that sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? But then you actually look at the campaign and quickly realize that it’s anything but legitimate. With barely any text, no video, and no photos, you’re supposed to just be willing to fork up over half a million bucks to someone known only as “Tom.” It’s completely ridiculous that anyone believes they can pull this sort of trick in 2015. Showcasing this totally illegal campaign did get people talking, though. It got gamers thinking about what it would be like if Metal Gear Solid were really remade on PS4. What if there really were a Kickstarter for it – how would that work out?
Considering how massive the Metal Gear fandom is in the West I’d have to expect a campaign would do outrageously well. Honestly, it could probably make it up into the millions without much issue. Of course, the question we’d really need to ask is how much it would actually cost to make a game worthy of the Metal Gear Solid name on PS4. Just look at Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain. These games look absolutely phenomenal, have amazing voice acting and music, and are humongous. Despite the fact that there have been multiple “big name” developers on Kickstarter before I really don’t believe we’ve ever seen funding goals even close to that of triple A games. Even the $13 million in funding which constitutes the highest funded product on Kickstarter of all time would just be a drop in the bucket for Metal Gear.
Beyond the money aspect, we’d need to know who was running this campaign and why. Hideo Kojima has an incredibly secure position at Konami. Chances are, they’d do anything in their power to keep him from separating Kojima Productions from them. After all, Japan has a culture of syushin-koyo (lifetime employment) where you are expected to remain within a specific corporation as long as you work. So we need to imagine a world where Konami as a whole allows their subsidiary to hit Kickstarter.
This isn’t as ridiculous a concept as it may initially sound. What DOES Konami have as of late beyond Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, and Yu-Gi-Oh!? Okay, so yes, they do have a stronger presence with gambling games and mobile but with that being the case it almost makes sense that they would eventually say goodbye to console game development. Hitting up a crowdfunding website could be a step to say they are done funding these incredibly expensive projects otherwise. I don’t actually expect that to happen, but it’s an interesting event to imagine.
Such a monumentus event as a Metal Gear Solid remake for PS4 would draw an incredible amount of attention simply for existing. Heck, the fake campaign got people talking! It’s not as if this would be completely new to fans of the series, though. Metal Gear Solid was remade (to some fans’ dismay) as Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes for GameCube. Of course, now that remake is now 11 years old. If they wanted to revisit the game yet again it would be a perfect time. Remakes being HD-ified is not new either, such as the recently-released Resident Evil HD. A full remake, though, utilizing the Fox Engine and power of the PS4 would be stunning.
No doubt some gamers would be angry. After all, some disliked what Twin Snakes did with the original storyline and presentation. Some would prefer to keep the PS1 game pure as possible. Then again there are also tons of folks who have never played MGS1 at all. This could prove a perfect occasion to usher them into PS4 ownership with one of the most critically acclaimed titles out there remastered for modern audiences. Considering the impending release of The Phantom Pain it could also prove to be great cross promotion. Of course, it’s probably safe to say Kojima Productions has a lot on their shoulders already right now. In fact, if we look back in time to 2013 we’ll see that Kojima directly addressed the possibility of a remake – stating Metal Gear Solid V was occupying all their time. Perhaps all this hypothesizing is not as far off as it initially sounds?
Regardless, a legitimate Metal Gear Solid campaign on Kickstarter just seems incredibly unlikely. Metal Gear Solid is not the kind of game which any publisher would turn away. That’s usually the reason which pushes larger teams to crowdfund, after all. It has far too much worth in the gaming industry for it to ever be rejected. Even when Kojima adds weirder, darker, and goofier aspects Konami just lets it happen. After all, these are things which fans have come to expect and love from the series. Development of a Metal Gear Solid game would seriously have to veer into an incredibly strange direction for anyone to even question its path. Honestly, even if they went in a visual novel/adventure game route that would just be returning to Kojima’s routes ala Policenauts and Snatcher.
If a Metal Gear Solid remake really did appear on Kickstarter though that would usher in a brand new era of crowdfunding. The first “gold rush” was with Double Fine Adventure and the many classic developers who arrived with campaigns afterward. In a post MGS Kickstarter world we would then see other large developers and publishers follow the money. With their excellent PR people they could probably even craft really “reasonable” explanations for why the next Call of Duty/Grand Theft Auto/etc game required crowdfunding support.
Luckily for gamers, and our wallets, I do not believe that is the future of Kickstarter. There’s barely enough money as is to support all the awesome campaigns that launch on Kickstarter and Indiegogo regularly. If tons of multi-million dollar campaigns suddenly showed up there would be even less room for indies. It would basically demolish the entire purpose of these sites which are meant to provide funding for small teams and individuals who might never receive it otherwise. Imagining a reality where a Metal Gear Solid 1 remake hits Kickstarter is a fun exercise, but at the end of the day we’re lucky that hasn’t occurred. In the mean time, always be careful with campaigns and do not fund projects that look incredibly sketchy or too good to be true!