Ladies and gentlemen, let the rampant speculation begin. Those of you who turned into the VGA awards were privy to a trailer from Konami announcing their brand new IP entitled The Phantom Pain. Normally, this would merit a quick blurb and promises to look into the title more when there was some more meat on the bones, but internet dwellers felt there was something suspicious about the announcement.
The mulleted protagonist in the trailer was shown hiding and crawling around a hospital, drawing immediate comparisons to the Metal Gear Solid franchise. With that, just like a plague of locusts, nerds everywhere took to their keyboards carefully dissecting every piece of information they could uncover about the project. While none of this has been confirmed, what has been uncovered could be the single greatest example of a subversive marketing scheme the industry has ever seen.
We’re going to give you the abridged version here, simply because the amount that has been uncovered is absolutely dizzying.
Let’s start with the easiest example, the development team. Anxious to find out who was behind The Phantom Pain, all signs pointed to Moby Dick Studio. Here’s the problem: they don’t exist. Now, completely ignoring the White Whale red herring (ed note: What’s the proper formatting for having two colored animals back to back? I’m going to have to consult Dr. Seuss), the studio was founded by American developer Joakim Mogren who supposedly came from an American developer. Joakim is an anagram for Kojima, which points to Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima.
The logo itself even has a series of seemingly random lines jutting out from the characters. It wasn’t long before gamers were able to realize that the lines can be combined to spell out “Metal Gear Solid V”.
Numerous assets from the Metal Gear franchise were also found strewn throughout the trailer. The main character sports the same scar under his right eye as Snake, and a character walking out of a room engulfed in flame has the exact same legs as Volgin. The FOX team logo in particular left no doubt in the eyes of many that we are dealing with the franchise.
So what does this all mean? With Konami, you never really know. While this could certainly be a deliberate troll with the intention of starting the hype train for a brand new IP, I’m among the many who are convinced that we’re going to be getting a fresh Metal Gear Solid title out of all of this. I’ll keep my tinfoil hat on tightly, and bring you updates as they become available.