Licensing Issues Cause Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, & HD Collection to be Removed from Storefronts
With people still feeling the effects of the global pandemic, many people who don’t play games have recently started picking up some of their titles from their youth. This influx of gaming, both new and old, has seen a resurgence in the retro gaming market. While some players are purchasing their old games through retro stores or eBay, some other players have found themselves wanting to come back to their old titles on newer platforms. This has caused players to seek out their favorite titles online, through digital storefronts. Some games are easy to find, like Resident Evil 4, which has had a version of the game on just about every single platform since its launch on the GameCube.
However, some other games are a little trickier to find. Enter the Metal Gear Solid series. This series is considered to be one of the most revolutionary games of the PS1 and 2’s lives. However, for those who don’t own a PS2 to play Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, they’re going to have to purchase the games on a digital storefront. However, this has now become impossible unless they purchased it previously.
Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 have been removed from the online stores for every console they were currently on digitally.
Konami Deslists Metal Gear Solid Titles
According to the Konami portal for the game series, “We are currently working on renewing the licenses for select historical archive footage used in-game, therefore, we have made the temporary decision to begin suspending the sale of METAL GEAR SOLID 2, METAL GEAR SOLID 3 and all products that include these games from digital storefronts globally starting from November 8th, 2021.”
The only games to be delisted are as follows. For the PlayStation 3, Metal Gear Solid 2, Sons of Liberty HD, Snake Eater HD, and Metal Gear Solid HD Edition. The PlayStation Vita versions of Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and the HD Collection. PlayStation Now’s Version of the HD Collection. The Xbox 360 Version of the HD Collection, the 3DS version of Metal Gear Solid 3, Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance for GOG.com, and the Nvidia Shield TV Versions of MGS 2 and 3 HD.
With all of these games missing, anyone who wants to purchase them is going to be unable to. This also goes for people who own the game, but want to redownload it. It is said that the games are going to come back once the licensing is figured out. However, Konami hasn’t given player’s a timeframe for when the games are going to make a return. This could mean, in a worst-case scenario, that the games aren’t going to come back to the digital storefront. This is one reason that a lot of game collectors prefer to play their games physically, rather than digitally. It all comes down to game preservation.
Game Preservation for Older Titles
Unlike something like films, games aren’t constantly reproduced. There’s going to be a finite amount of titles for games. Unlike DVDs and blu-rays, games for the PS2 aren’t going to be able to be played on newer systems. This means that players who own a physical copy of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 can still play them only if they have one of the older consoles the game came out for. However, there’s more to it than this.
The retro market is similar to the way that stocks or crypto works since there’s a certain amount of copies of a title the price is going to fluctuate in the market for these games. While games originally sell for a certain amount, the more people keep their titles, the higher the price goes. The quality of the game is also factored in as well. Whether or not the game comes in its original box and manual also affects the price of the game as well. Games with both the box and the manual, as well as the disc are called “complete copies. Games like Metal Gear Solid 1 will sometimes require the manual for the game, as secrets and ways to progress are hidden inside of the manual.
However, in the case of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, players are going to have a harder time picking the game up now, until the licensing issues are settled, whereas the player’s who bought them physically is going to still be able to play the game, without having to worry about losing the ability to play it. This is the main reason why players will decide to keep their games physically, and why the games industry can never fully switch to digital. Consider a title like Transformers Devastation, the hack and slash Platinum Games title that was delisted from stores due to the licensing for Transformers running out. Now, the game’s been permanently delisted online. Those who didn’t purchase the game either online or physically now cannot purchase it. Although if they want to purchase it physically, they’ll have to pay an increased price. However, this is only for a PS4 title. A game like Scott Pilgrim the game spent years without being re-released, and players who deleted it from their PS3 weren’t able to get it back. This is the same thing that’s happening to Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 since they’re not PS4 titles.
What’s Going to Happen to the Digital Versions of the Game?
So one question remains, what’s going to be the fate of the digital versions of these titles? The truth is that nobody really knows, until the licensing is solved Konami has the games taken down. However, whether or not they’re going to do that, especially with the fact that the digital versions of the games are for older consoles, is yet to be seen. There’s a very good possibility that if they do decide to renew the license for the game, they’re going to put them on newer consoles and on PC, making everyone who purchased the game on their previous consoles have to pay for them again. However, this is all speculation. It seems only time will tell until the games finally come out. Until then, players are better off finding a physical copy of the game, if they’re willing to pay a little extra.