So the Japanese genius would have followed the format previously launched by Valve (Half-Life 2: Episode 1-2) and Telltale Games (e.g., The Walking Dead)…
Hideo Kojima didn’t release Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, essentially a playable prologue, to make money (although Konami, the publisher, could have tried to do that), but for a different reason. It was released almost a year and a half before the whole game (but still unfinished due to the conflict between Kojima and Konami), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Kojima spoke about it on Twitter:
“9 years since its release! Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes was originally planned as a prologue to MGS V: The Phantom Pain. Ground Zeroes was originally planned as a prologue to Metal Gear Solid V, an important introduction to root Snake’s (the player’s) vengeance in the main story, and the game’s theme is retribution. Since the PlayStation 4 was launched at the end of 2013, the game was pre-released with the PlayStation 4 x FOX Engine x Open World to introduce the new Metal Gear Solid and provide feedback to the main game in mind.”
In a later tweet, he added that he originally envisioned Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes as the first episode, similar to an episodic drama series. Therefore, it was perceived as an experiment rather than a taste of The Phantom Pain. But the reception ultimately influenced development, as many people thought Ground Zeroes was the complete game when it was not in any sense.
It’s an interesting concept, but we’ve only seen an episodic approach around AAA games essentially ONE time in recent years, and that was most likely due to the publisher: the first part of the Hitman reboot trilogy from IO Interactive was released in episodes by Square Enix before the Japanese publisher moved on from Agent 47 and the Danish studio. It says a lot that Hitman was later available in its entirety…
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