Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes designer says length concerns 'trumped-up'

Kojima Productions designer Jordan Amaro has chimed in regarding the controversy over the length of Ground Zeroes, drawing comparisons to games like Journey and Dear Esther.

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Following a report that the critical path in Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes lasts just two hours, Kojima Productions designer Jordan Amaro has stepped in to offer the studio's perspective. In particular, he drew comparisons to other short games and said the concerns over its length have been "trumped-up."

"Are Journey and Dear Esther long? [Voltaire's Candide] is like a hundred pages at most," Amaro told GameSpot. "Yet they are masterpieces of video game and literature. This smearing will not stain and affect what we're aiming to achieve with MGS, the game industry in Japan, or video games as a whole.

"I want people to celebrate the new MGS like we used to. I'm not dismissing their concerns. But this [issue] has been trumped-up."

The concerns seem to mainly stem from length. Dear Esther and Journey both only last a few hours, but they cost $10-15 even without frequent discounts. Ground Zeroes will cost $20-40, depending on your platform of choice. That means ultimately, the discussion comes down to the dollars-per-entertainment-hour ratio perspective that influences some buying decisions. And of course, this is all based on time completed without side-quests, so wringing out more from the game may be possible for those who wish to.

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  • reply
    February 6, 2014 9:15 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes designer says length concerns 'trumped-up'.

    Kojima Productions designer Jordan Amaro has chimed in regarding the controversy over the length of Ground Zeroes, drawing comparisons to games like Journey and Dear Esther.

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      February 6, 2014 9:36 AM

      "I want people to celebrate the new MGS like we used to. I'm not dismissing their concerns. But this [issue] has been trumped-up."

      What exactly is that? The $40 demo? I think that money is better served for a full fledged game, with much respect to Mr. Kojima. But that's a little to rich for my blood. I'm sure the full MSG experience will be well worth the price, but $40 for a couple of hours, I think sends a bad message. I don't know about anyone else's financial situation, but money don't grow on trees. If this experiment is successful whats next $65 for 15 minute demos?
      All I read about is how expensive current gen game making is, this could be a way to test the waters. See if we are willing to pay 2/3 of current pricing for a few hours of gaming and raise the price of current gen gaming since we can afford to just throw money at these tidbits.

      Just a thought.

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        February 6, 2014 9:37 AM

        Its $20

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          February 6, 2014 9:45 AM

          PS4/XBO retail version is $40. Only the digital, previous gen versions are $20.

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            February 6, 2014 9:56 AM

            So its $20

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              February 6, 2014 10:01 AM

              nevermind technical or feature differences, the real price of something is just the cheapest price any version of it is...

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                February 6, 2014 11:16 AM

                In Canada, it's $45 for next-gen, $35 for current-gen, and god knows what they plan to charge for the digital versions now (hopefully it will remain at $20 CAD for current-gen). It's like taking a beating on both fronts.

                Exchange rate aside, honestly, Kojima has got a lot of stones with all these different price points. Given that most multi-plat content goes for the same price, it's hard to look at Ground Zeroes as anything more than a rip-off, and this is coming from a fan of the franchise. I'm going to wait until PS Plus puts it on sale...or I might just wait until MGS5 gets a GOTY edition and that way I'll be able to get everything at once at a fair price.

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                  February 6, 2014 4:08 PM

                  It's $89.95 in Australia. Most new games are between $69 to $89 with $89 usually for big titles like COD or Assassin's Creed.

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        February 6, 2014 10:17 AM

        I think I've missed all this. So is this a separate but short game for $40? (I'm getting One/PS4 versions I'm not a savage) Or is this like some kind of preview that will appear later in that other Metal Gear game? I don't get why people are calling it a demo. Just because its a several hour game instead of a 8+ hour game?

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          February 6, 2014 10:36 AM

          It is a short but separate game with one main mission, five side missions and one platform exclusive mission. It costs 20 digital and 30 retail box for PS3 and Xbox 360 and 30 digital and 40 retail box for PS4 and Xbox One.

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            February 6, 2014 10:49 AM

            So why are people wigging out besides its the internet? It's a short game at mostly budget price.

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              February 6, 2014 11:26 AM

              It depends on what console you plan on getting it for. $20 can be considered a budget price for a game, but there are full-length, $15 games out there of amazing quality on PSN and Xbox Store that provide much more replayability than Ground Zeroes can ever hope to offer as a 2-hour demo, not to mention standalone DLC, indie games and other recent titles that have gone on sale for $20 or less. Then if you only own a next-gen console, you're looking at a minimum of $30 for the same content, and it's much harder to see the value of this 'game' at that price.

              I'm glad that Konami isn't forcing MGS fans to buy another game to get access to Ground Zeroes (as they did with the MGS2 demo and Zone of Enders), but $30 and up is too steep a price to ask for something like this. If Kojima truly wants to get this game into as many people's hands as possible, it should be $20 across the board, current and next-gen, and frankly, we are fools if we are willing to pay more than $20 for this content. If we do, we are literally telling developers that they can jack up the cost of games, DLC and other content depending on what console it's being developed on.

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                February 6, 2014 4:36 PM

                I agree, specially when you look at Ubisoft's Gunslinger and Blood Dragon, those are 15$ and those are great and a bit lengthy as well. Even the ACIV's Freedom Cry is becoming essentially a 15$ game too.

                So as much as I want to play a MGS in a long time, I will wait until it is at a good price point, hopefully that will be around the summer sales that likely is the desert of good games too...

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        February 7, 2014 12:38 AM

        People give others money for nothing in kickstarter and they don't even get a demo.

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          February 7, 2014 8:08 AM

          That depends on what the terms of the kickstarter are...some kickstarters reward contributors with the game and/or special edition content.

          That said, Kickstarter is more about supporting games that need funding to get off the ground in the first place. Phantom Pain is not one of those games.

          If Sega, Yu Suzuki and the developers behind Yakuza were to get together and Kickstart a Shenmue 3 project, I would glady fund that and still pay full price for that game in the end, because that's a project I want to see get made. Phantom Pain is going to get paid whether I want it to or not...Mr. Kojima doesn't need my $45 CAD (for Ground Zeroes) to fund it, and he won't be getting it. When Ground Zeroes is $20 on PSN or the Xbox Store for next-gen, THAT's when I'll consider paying for this. I have plenty of other great games to play already that are more worth their sticker price.

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      February 6, 2014 10:19 AM

      Ouch. The worst part of this is not that it's a 2 hour experience for $20-40, but that as described by the developers themselves, it serves as a tutorial for Phantom Pain. I myself having a PS4 would have to pay $30-$40 to play a tutorial for a game that will come out a year later...

      So what do I propose? Either wait for PS plus to have it for free or deeply discounted just in time for Phantom Pain, or get it at a much cheaper price when Phantom Pain is about to come out so that the experience of Ground Zeroes is fresh.

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      February 6, 2014 10:20 AM

      [deleted]

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      February 6, 2014 10:47 AM

      you think Kieffer Sutherland woulda got out of bed in the morning for less than 40$ a copy?

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        February 6, 2014 11:28 AM

        Yes, he did, because the current gen version's only $20. As if he even cares about the economics, he's already been paid. It's up to Konami to sort all the other stuff out.

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          February 6, 2014 4:16 PM

          not current, previous. PS3 and 360 are not current gen any longer.

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            February 7, 2014 8:10 AM

            I get your point, but as long as PS3, Xbox 360 and (ahem) Wii U still have more games coming to them than next gen, I'm going to continue referring to them as current-gen, and PS4/Xbox One as next-gen. Anyone with common sense here knows what I'm talking about.

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              February 7, 2014 8:11 AM

              Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you don't have common sense...that didn't come out right. You get what I mean, though, right?

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      February 6, 2014 4:07 PM

      It's $89.95 in Australia.

      I'll just let that sink in ... that's $89.95

      To put that in perspective for Australian prices I paid $79.95 for Dead Rising 3 and $68 for RYSE.

      What utter absolute garbage Kojima. It's either too short or too expensive, take your pick.

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        February 7, 2014 8:13 AM

        Whoah, wait...GROUND ZEROES is $89.95 in Australia? This isn't Phantom Pain (the full game) you're talking about? If so, that is utter garbage.

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      February 6, 2014 4:37 PM

      Someone should tell him we paid $15-20 for those games, not $40.

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      February 6, 2014 4:38 PM

      I'm gonna wait on Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain and get the collected version called "Metal Gear Solid 5".

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      February 6, 2014 4:46 PM

      Paradigm shift; now the DLC comes first!

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      February 6, 2014 7:22 PM

      I bet the 2 hour play through is a run and gun, do everything super fast and shoddy time. Using stealth, not killing the bad guys, you know, playing a Metal Gear game the way it aught to be played, is probably a 4-5 hour experience. Still not great, but okay for the price point.

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      February 6, 2014 10:58 PM

      I'll pay $29.95 USD for a PC release.

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      February 6, 2014 11:43 PM

      To be fair, I think many of us paid $50 for the metal gear solid Psx demo...

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        February 7, 2014 8:15 AM

        I sure as hell didn't, and I wont be paying $45 CAD for Ground Zeroes either.

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