Metal Gear Solid V’s online mode features microtransactions, that much we know. But with just a week to go before the game is released worldwide, it’s still not clear exactly how they work – and Konami isn’t exactly being very clear about it.
Yesterday, Gamespot published an article stating that in order to expand your FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Metal Gear Online, you need to pay for it with a currency known as MB (Mother base) coins. Originally, the Gamespot article claimed that you needed to pay to construct your base at all, prompting Konami to issue a pair of strongly worded statements – first to PC Gamer, and then to Gamespot itself – denying that’s the case.
“To clarify, the initial FOB – which includes the FOB command platform and all sub-platforms – is not behind a Mother Base coin paywall,” the statement to Gamespot reads. “Maintaining other FOBs past the initial set of FOB platforms can be purchased with Mother Base coins. More information regarding the payment model for FOB will be provided closer to launch.”
So it seems that while you’ll be able to set up an initial FOB for “free” (bearing in mind you need to pay for the game in the first place), you’ll need to stump up additional cash if you want to get the most out of it.
Or do you? Konami produce Ken-ichiro Imaizumi took to twitter to explain that money can also be earned in “other ways”, though he didn’t go into detail.
You can make money by completing missions on single campaign mode. There are other ways to make money as well. https://t.co/PAUP9mzOu4
— Ken-ichiro Imaizumi (@Ken1555) August 10, 2015
Not only that, but we still don’t know how much MB coins will actually cost. And even if you can earn them through gameplay, will you be able to earn them in sufficient numbers for it to feel as though you’re making progress? Or will it be a stultifying grindfest?
Personally, I find the lack of transparency about the whole thing to be rather worrying. Does Konami really expect people to have to shell out for a full-priced game without knowing the extent of the microtransactions? It certainly appears so.
It’s worth mentioning, of course, that microtransactions are only present in the multiplayer portion of the game, and the single player campaign is estimated to run at around 40 to 50 hours in length. Many players won’t even bother with the multiplayer side of the game either; but a large number of people will, and they deserve to be able to make an informed purchase in full possession of the facts.