MGSV: The Phantom Pain PvP Not Locked Behind Paywall


After a plethora of reviews for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain came out last night, there was a sense of victory for fans of the series. Creator Hideo Kojima could finally go out on top with one of the best-reviewed games in the series. GameSpot, however, dampened the victory parade a bit by reporting yesterday that the game’s online PvP mode in Forward Operating Bases (F.O.B.) was locked behind a paywall. It wasn’t great to hear, but reporting the truth in video games is a noble cause that should guide games coverage, even if it isn’t flattering.

Except GameSpot didn’t report the truth.

In an update to the story by PC Gamer earlier today, a representative from Konami insisted that Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain does not hide any functions behind microtransactions of any kind.

The statement from Konami, in full:

"Gamespot posted an article following the review that the PVP (FOB) mode in MGSV TPP will be restricted behind a micro-transaction paywall and that is simply not true. The FOB mode will be fully accessible at launch and the micro-transaction layer to that specific feature in the game primarily acts as an accelerator. We’ll have more details at launch, but we did try and clear these rumours up when they started circulating during E3. We even addressed this in our official E3 2015 demo when it went live during that show."

That last part I can confirm, as I reported on the video when it was released mid-June during the E3 2015 marketing extravaganza. In fact, within the first minute the narrator addresses microtransactions, stating that, “The entire game has been carefully balanced to be fair and enjoyable with or without using these options. There’s no ‘pay-to-win’ option. Rest assured that every single item, weapon and mission in the game is available to all players without paying a single cent.”

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The reason why GameSpot was led to believe that the FOB mode in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was locked behind a paywall is twofold. First, the review “boot camp” that their reviewer was sent to had no access to online play, meaning they could not access FOB mode. Second, when looking at the forward operating base locations, each location required Mother Base (MB) coins to purchase them. The logical conclusion they made was that you had to pay money to access FOB mode. They even followed up with Konami’s PR, which could not provide official details at that time.

A senior producer at Konami, Ken-ichiro Imaizumi, already answered this question on Twitter, stating you can earn money through playing single-player missions in The Phantom Pain. He also said, “There are other ways to make money as well,” lining up with what GameSpot’s PR team rep responded in their original story about exact details being made clear this week.

It’s hard to take any positivity coming out of this story. A major outlet spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about a game they just gave a very rare perfect 10/10 for. We got confirmation that microtransactions will affect a major part of the campaign multiplayer aspect of The Phantom Pain. Konami comes out as the voice of reason during a year where they seem to be doing almost everything against their core fanbase. It’s still more than a week until we actually get to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain on either the PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS3 or Xbox 360. There’s no winners, here.

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