MB Coins being earned or having to be purchased is at the heart of confusion.
The excitement surrounding the impending release of Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain is real and it’s spectacular. That excitement might have been stunted a bit if recent confusion over the game’s online PVP mode being locked behind a paywall weren’t cleared up. The mode, called, Forward Operating Base originally appeared to be locked behind a paywall and looked as though gamers would have to use real money to purchase MB Coins, Gamespot originally ran into the problem, noting there didn’t appear to be a way to earn MB coins throughout the missions and reached out to Konami for clarification.
During the single player missions, users are able to collect materials in order to build up their bases and in the online PVP mode, they are supposed to be able to attack other players’ bases. Gamespot originally ran up against the paywall and the issue at hand is that in game, a message popped up that says people must purchase territorial waters before they can start building a base. The message says “Spend MB Coins (paid service) to purchase waters.” While Konami says that MB coins can be earned through a playthrough, it seems there’s a question as to where this option is actually available in the game.
After originally not being able to provide more information, the company has since said that the mode is not fully operational yet but will be when the game launches. Konami also said that there will be microstransactions available but they will “primarily be an accelerator.” This would seem to indicate that MB coins can be earned in order to purchase those waters, but players can also forgo earning the coins and just buy them outright. This approach would almost certainly be more appropriate for a title already costing players $60. Still, it appears we won’t know for sure until Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain launches on September 1.