“One day I hope we may earn you back and surprise you.”
Very rarely has one company ever managed to burn through its cachet of consumer goodwill as rapidly or as spectacularly as Konami have over the last few years- and considering just how much goodwill Konami had, that really is saying something. From Konami’s poor treatment of their long running, classic franchises (such as Silent Hill) and their creators, the company has managed to tarnish its legacy very effectively- at least, in the fans’ opinions.
However, it now appears as though the company may be trying to mend fence and rebuild bridges with its fans. Taking on Reddit, Ben, who apparently handles social media for Konami in the US (the user is verified, so we know he is the real deal), decided to take on some of the grievances and issues that people have had with Konami over the last few years.
Speaking specifically about the future of Metal Gear, Ben emphatically stated that Metal Gear Solid has a future on consoles, and one beyond just pachinkos.
“Metal Gear is important to a lot of people here and as has been stated publicly, will be supported in the future in a console market,” he said, admitting that Konami had lost the trust of its fans. “It can be hard as fans. One day I hope we may earn you back and surprise you. Hope that helps and does not sting,” he added, also teasing something for the upcoming 30th anniversary for Metal Gear next year.
Ben also pointed out that the very nature of the industry is long term– and that a few years of hiatus for popular franchises such as Castlevania do not necessarily mean that Konami has abandoned them, but that they are trying to find a good fit for them going forward.
But what about the existence of the pachinko? A lot of Metal Gear fans have been taking it hard, considering it to be an affront to the franchise, as well as conclusive proof that Metal Gear as a AAA gaming franchise may be at an end. However, Ben very candidly answered those questions too, noting that the pachinko is a local product for just the Japanese market that fans are reading too much into, and pointing out, yet again, that its existence does not and will not impact the development of any Metal Gear game Konami may be working on- in other words, it is not one or the other, and it can definitely be both.
Given how candid, refreshingly honest, and satisfying all his other answers were, fans were probably hoping that Ben would be able to answer the one question that has been on everyone’s minds since the launch of Metal Gear Solid V last year- will there ever be a Chapter 3 for the game? However, Ben humorously deflected the question, suggesting that it is ‘above his pay grade.’
All said and done, what we hear may just be some (good, for a change) PR, with no substance or deeper meaning to it than that. On the other hand, given that Konami have hardly cared about poor PR so far, that seems unlikely- and even if it does not, the fact that they are trying to reverse that trend suggests that they may have something coming up that may require fans to be excited and on board.
That’s the worst case scenario. In the best case, Ben is being honest, and there really are more Metal Gear games in the wings, with even revivals for franchises like Castlevania and Silent Hill not being out of the question. The fan in me will hope for the latter possibility. The realist in me, prepare for the former one.