Recently, a Metal Gear 35th anniversary webpage was set up, leading many to believe that Konami was intending to celebrate the franchise this year. However, the page is fake, and Konami is currently considering what to do about it.
What's the story behind the Metal Gear 35th anniversary webpage?
Recently, Konami celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Castlevania series by, uh, creating a series of NFTs. Really, Konami, you shouldn't have. The Metal Gear 35th anniversary falls on this year, and given Konami's acknowledgement of 35 years of Castlevania, many were hoping the company would see fit to do right by Metal Gear. A website was recently set up featuring a rather snazzy "35" logo in the shape of a stylized Metal Gear exclamation point, complete with Konami copyright information and official corporate branding. However, it looks like the website is fake. It now simply leads to a page declaring the whole thing to be an April Fools parody of the aforementioned Castlevania NFT auction.
If you visit the Metal Gear 35th anniversary page now, you'll see the above message, which declares the page to be a parody. It also implores Konami not to sue the page's creator, instead using the resources to put Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 back on digital storefronts. According to Japanese news platform Game Watch (thanks, Automaton Media), Konami is currently considering what to do about the webpage. This wouldn't be Konami's first run-in with domain appropriation; last month, someone purchased the lapsed Silent Hill domain, which now simply displays a message from artist Masahiro Ito expressing regret for designing the iconic Pyramid Head character. It's hard to imagine a corporation as huge as Konami treating this new Metal Gear infraction with leniency, but we'll see what happens next.
How are things going for Konami right now?
While Konami revenue may be up (thanks, GamesIndustry.biz), the company's reputation is still faring pretty badly among the gaming public. Right now, Konami has the second worst-rated game on Steam (although that's technically an improvement, given it was once the worst-rated game), and its perceived mistreatments of the Metal Gear, Silent Hill, and Castlevania IPs haven't won it any love either. The earlier-mentioned foray into Castlevania NFTs was largely greeted with derision and scorn from fans of the series, although it did manage to raise a fair sum for Konami, which I'm sure will come as a comfort to those who have been waiting for a new core Castlevania game for years.
Rumors suggest that Konami is looking to revive Castlevania, Metal Gear, and Silent Hill, although given the expiry of the Silent Hill domain, those rumors have taken something of a hit. Still, it is possible for Konami to turn its reputation around, and retro arcade and Castlevania collections have at least gone some way towards preservation, which is a noble goal (even if it is pursued in the name of financial gain). We'll have to wait and see what Konami announces for the Metal Gear 35th anniversary, if anything. Honestly, nothing would probably be better than NFTs.