Will we ever see Metal Gear Solid 6 materialize? Well, even though it’s been seven years since Metal Gear Solid 5 released and series publisher Konami hasn’t announced a sixth entry, we’re still hopeful it could happen. One day.
The Metal Gear series is, admittedly, in a strange place. Its creator, Hideo Kojima, no longer works at Konami, but the publisher still owns the rights to the series. Since Kojima's departure in 2015, Konami hasn't done a whole lot with the Metal Gear series. The only game it's released since the auteur's departure was 2018's Metal Gear Survive, a spin-off a co-op zombie survival game that was poorly received.
Since then, Konami hasn't shared its plans for the series. A report by VGC (opens in new tab) claims that the publisher plans to revive some of its biggest franchises, including Metal Gear. We’ve already seen that Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 are going back on sale which is a revival of sorts but the report also makes mentions of remasters and a "larger project" too. Whether this will be a new entry in the series, however, remains to be seen.
SPOILERS for the Metal Gear Solid series ahead. You have been warned.
Metal Gear Solid 6: cut to the chase
- What is it? The unconfirmed sixth game in the Metal Gear Solid series
- When’s it out? TBC
- What can I play it on? TBC
Metal Gear Solid 6 release date and platforms
As we've said above, Konami hasn't officially announced Metal Gear Solid 6 so, right now, a new entry in the stealth series is unconfirmed.
As such, if Konami does plan to release a new Metal Gear Solid game in the future, it's hard to predict when we might get our hands on it. Especially because, unlike other major series, the Metal Gear games have never been released on a strict schedule. There were seven years between Metal Gear Solid 4 and 5, and four between 3 and 4. If a new Metal Gear Solid game is on the cards, then it will mark the longest wait between series entries to date (as it's currently seven years since Metal Gear Solid 5 was released).
However, part of the reason for their long development times was the control Hideo Kojima had over the series, something that is rumored to have been behind his exit from Konami. Now, it's possible Kojima is the reason we've been waiting so long for a new entry in the Metal Gear Solid series, but for a very different reason. It's hard to imagine a Metal Gear Solid game without Kojima at the helm and, since his exit from Konami, it's likely the studio is very aware of that. So, without Kojima, we could either see Konami attempt to put its own stamp on the next instalment in the current Metal Gear Solid series or that the developer finds a different approach to keeping the series alive, potentially with a reboot.
It's possible we may see both of these approaches, however. VGC's (opens in new tab) October 2021 report claims that Konami has a new Metal Gear project in early development and that it's also planning remasters of the original Metal Gear Solid games. Konami hasn't confirmed these plans, however.
What it has confirmed (opens in new tab) on the game's 35th anniversary is that it's working on putting Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 back on sale after they were delisted in late 2021. Good news, though not what we were hoping for.
Metal Gear Solid 6 news and rumors
Not the anniversary announcement we expected
Metal Gear Solid's 35th anniversary took place on July 13 2022 and while it would have been the perfect time to announce any kind of new project in the works, Konami didn't do so. It was, however, confirmed by the Metal Gear official account that the publisher is working on bringing back Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, which were delisted towards the end of 2021. At the moment, there's no exact date for when they will be back.
❗Today marks the 35th anniversary of the #METALGEAR series! Thank you to everyone that enjoyed and celebrated the series so far. We ask for your patience as preparations are underway to make the temporarily removed titles available again. #MG35th pic.twitter.com/KxXoYfCAGBJuly 13, 2022
It may not be Metal Gear Solid 6
According to the report mentioned above, by VGC, anonymous publishing sources claim that publisher Konami is working on "new installments and remakes for its biggest franchises, including Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill and Castlevania.
According to the report, Konami underwent a restructuring earlier this year and is now focusing on reviving its biggest franchises within the premium gaming space.
VGC's report claims that Konami has indeed got a new Metal Gear project in early development, with the publication's sources claiming that this project will be "centered around" Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Ahead of this "larger project", the report claims that the publisher plans to release remasters of the original Metal Gear Solid games. Konami hasn't confirmed these plans, however.
Metal Gear Solid 6: what we want to see
Metal Gear Solid 6 may not have been confirmed by Konami, but here's what we would want to see in a new Metal Gear Solid game.
Return to the sandbox
Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain saw a marked shift in the Metal Gear Solid format. In a similar way to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the games took the essential elements of the Metal Gear series and spun them anew within a sandbox environment.
A game known for enclosed environments where you had to identify and navigate enemy patrols, became an open space for you to assert control over. The change in philosophy rejuvenated the series and any sequel should continue that, better tying together the wealth of changes Metal Gear Solid 5 introduced.
More Mother Base
First introduced in Peace Walker, the Mother Base meta game gave you something to develop between missions. By strapping Fulton balloons to enemy soldiers you could identify and pluck particularly able troops from the battlefield, deliver them to your base, and brainwash them to join your army. The more soldiers you had back at base the more you could expand your operations and abilities in the field. It was an ingenious system, giving continuity to your missions and actions in the open world.
It was such a central part of Metal Gear Solid 5 that it would leave a big hole if it were missing in Metal Gear Solid 6. There’s a lot of room to expand it, too, by adding new functionality to the base and creating new opportunities to bring your soldiers into the field. Who wouldn’t want to call in a helicopter loaded up with your mercenaries to help out in a mission?
Metal Gear Online
Konami invested a lot of resources into Metal Gear Online, it was one part of Metal Gear Solid 5 that continued to be updated after the game’s release - even where there were obvious gaps in the game’s single-player that could be plugged. *Cough* Episode 51 *Cough*. Any sequel would surely expand on Metal Gear Online. It is, after all, like it or not, where Konami can make its money with microtransactions.
Metal Gear Solid 5 ended with the revelation that you hadn’t been playing as Big Boss, but as a man who had been brainwashed and surgically altered to think and look like he was Big Boss. It was a leftfield twist but one that explains how Snake kills Big Boss twice in the Metal Gear games.
In the first Metal Gear, Snake kills the doppelganger (aka 'Venom' Snake) and in Metal Gear 2 he kills the real Big Boss.
There are many places where Metal Gear Solid 6 could pick up the story but a likely candidate would be right after the events of 5, either as Big Boss establishing Outer Heaven, his renegade state, and developing the Metal Gear walking battle tank - which would give fans a chance to re-meet characters like Grey Fox and Dr Pettrovich, though from a new perspective; or, Konami could take the opportunity to remake the original Metal Gear games in the glory of the Fox Engine, giving players a modern exploration of the story first told on the MSX2 back in 1987.
Of course, Konami could go back earlier and tell the story of The Boss, Big Boss’ mentor, the mother of US Special Forces. In Metal Gear Solid 3 we’re given hints of her actions in World War II, leading the Cobra unit in the Battle of Normandy. It would be a pre-mech story, but it could be a great departure from the series norms if Konami wants to escape the shadow of Kojima.
While Konami disputes it, many people feel Metal Gear Solid 5 is unfinished. The game’s final mission, Episode 51, was literally cut from the game, so there is little resolution with Eli, Big Boss’ clone. At one point he steals a mech from your base and disappears and you just never give chase. While The Phantom Pain’s collector’s edition revealed what would have happened in the cut mission, it would be great to actually be able to play that final part, and see Eli, the boy soldier become Liquid Snake, your nemesis throughout Metal Gear Solid 1, 2, and 4.
The rapid wrap-up of Metal Gear Solid 5 also sees you given little time to process the news that you’ve played the entire game as a phantom of Big Boss, rather than the man himself. You’re told you will work together to establish Militaires Sans Frontieres but there are many questions as to how you’ll do this in a world where you’re already being hunted by multiple governments and Cipher, the enemy force driving events in The Phantom Pain. It would be good to see a sequel flesh out these major elements.
Hideo Kojima’s departure from Konami doesn’t have to spell the end for Metal Gear Solid, but if it’s going to continue its most famous series then it’s got a lot to live up to.