Despite one or two issues with the narrative in Metal Gear Solid V and the travesty that was Metal Gear Survive, demand for a new Metal Gear game remains high. Unfortunately, however, it’s a little difficult to see how exactly this would work now that Hideo Kojima is no longer working at Konami.
Some have suggested that a reboot may be in order and while this would definitely help to revitalize the franchise, whether or not Konami is the best company to take on such a monumental task is a matter for debate. Despite years of mediocrity, only a fool would write the sleeping giant off completely, but there are plenty of other developers who could get the job done if needed.
It might not be the largest studio out there, but the team over at Camouflaj has a proven track record when it comes to high quality stealth games. Partially inspired by the Metal Gear series, Republique is a fantastic title in its own right, but is made all the more impressive by its limited budget and the small size of the team who created it.
What’s more, the studio’s founder, Ryan Payton, actually has experience working on Metal Gear games; having spent several years as an assistant producer at Kojima Productions in the early two thousands. With more resources and an pre-established IP to work with, there’s really no telling what this team of talented developers could accomplish.
9 Naughty Dog
While stealth based mechanics are undoubtedly an integral part of the Metal Gear series, they are but one of several platforms on which it has built its success. To many, it is just as much the wonderful storytelling and cinematic qualities of the Metal Gear games that make them so enthralling and this is something that the team at Naughty Dog have consistently delivered over the last few decades.
Franchises like The Last of Us and Uncharted have redefined expectations with each new outing and provided some of the very best games of the 21st century. The former does incorporate some stealth based gameplay too, although this would have to be expanded quite a bit were the studio to get its hands on the Metal Gear IP.
8 IO Interactive
One often wonders what the team at IO Interactive could achieve if only they were willing to step out of their comfort zone a little. That’s not to say that the Hitman games aren’t still a lot of fun, but more that there’s perhaps some potential being left on the table as a result of them sticking to such a rigid formula and largely limiting themselves to just a single IP.
Their upcoming 007 game should give the world a better idea of whether or not the studio is more than just another one-trick pony. All of the building blocks are certainly there though to suggest that they could find success away from the Hitman franchise. That success may well come with Bond, but it could just as easily be drawn from a Metal Gear reboot if they were ever given the chance.
There was a time back in the nineties when Capcom and Konami were seen as two of the most prominent pioneers of the video game industry. While the latter may have fallen off the radar somewhat in the decades that have followed, Capcom remains one of the most influential and reliable developers in all of gaming.
It could certainly be argued that the company would be a much better fit for a Silent Hill reboot and while such an endeavor would undoubtedly yield success, the Japanese giant could just as easily handle Metal Gear. The recent Resident Evil remakes demonstrate not only that the studio can rebuild classic games to adhere to modern visual standards, but also refine their gameplay for the current generation as well.
6 Bend Studio
Sony has a lot of great first-party studios under its belt and while there are many that could potentially reboot Metal Gear if given the opportunity, none are a better fit than Bend. It’s a studio that’s perhaps best known for its 2018 PS4 exclusive Days Gone, but it also has a strong track record when it comes to stealth heavy games.
Although not quite as visually impressive, the storytelling and gameplay found throughout the Syphon Filter series was at times just as enthralling as some of the earlier Metal Gear titles. The stealth mechanics were solid too and the enemy AI was revolutionary for the era. With technology having come on leaps and bounds in the 15 years since the last entry, there’s really no telling what Bend Studio could accomplish if given the chance.
5 Arkane Studios
Interest in the Dishonored series may have fizzled out a little over the last few years, but Arkane Studios’ action adventure titles remain some of the best stealth games ever made. The storytelling is on point, the world in which the games take place is well fleshed out and the meticulous attention to detail is at times astounding.
With Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax having recently been approved by the SEC, the studio now finds itself in an interesting position. It will soon have the financial might of one of the largest companies in the world in its corner and, with it, a license to take a more ambitious approach to game design. With Deathloop just a few months away now, the developer could be ready to start working on a new project almost immediately as well.
4 Ubisoft Montreal
Ubisoft may not have the best reputation amongst gamers, but it’s hard to argue that those working at the company’s Montreal studio don’t know how to make great games. Far Cry, Assassins Creed and Watch Dogs are just a few of the huge franchises they’ve developed in recent years, but it’s perhaps their Tom Clancy games that make them such a good fit for Metal Gear.
The Splinter Cell series was one of very few that ever came close to matching Metal Gear around the turn of the century. Granted, it did run out of steam after the first few releases, but some of the more recent Tom Clancy titles at least provide occasional glimpses that the studio still knows how to incorporate stealth-based mechanics into a gritty, hyper realistic world.
3 Eidos Montreal
Since being acquired by Square Enix a little over a decade ago, the quality of the games being produced by Eidos has improved dramatically. The Montreal subsidiary has played a role in the development of two of Crystal Dynamics’ fantastic Tomb Raider games and also developed the hugely underrated 2014 title, Thief. The studio’s crowning achievement, however, is undoubtedly the Deus Ex series.
Although both tonally and thematically different from Metal Gear, the gameplay mechanics found in recent Deus Ex titles are at times incredibly similar to the ones used in Metal Gear. It really wouldn’t take too much tweaking to make them fit and the talent and creativity are certainly there to do this as well as improve the Metal Gear formula rather than just replicate it.
Konami is one of the most frustrating companies in gaming. It continues to sit on some of the biggest and most popular IPs ever created, but, for whatever reason, seems reluctant to do anything meaningful with them. Ultimately, the question is not whether the developer could handle a Metal Gear reboot, but instead, whether it cares enough about the franchise to dedicate the time and resources needed to make it work.
Judging by the lack of any kind of official announcement regarding the future of Silent Hill, many believe the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no’. Of course, Silent Hill is not Metal Gear and it’s entirely possible that the higher ups at Konami see the latter in a slightly different light. If Metal Gear Survive is anything to by though, there’s a strong argument to be made for a new studio taking the lead on Metal Gear.
1 Kojima Productions
Who better to revive the fortunes of Metal Gear than the man responsible for its creation? To many, Hideo Kojima is Metal Gear and, regardless of whether one agrees with that sentiment or not, it’s somewhat difficult to imagine what a new mainline Metal Gear game would look like without his involvement.
Since parting ways with Konami in 2015, Kojima has spent much of his time working on Death Stranding and has expressed an interest in developing a sequel to the divisive title on multiple occasions. Even so, one suspects that he’d find it difficult to turn down the chance to return to the world of Metal Gear if given the opportunity.