What's the deal with Metal Gear Solid 5 microtransactions?

FOBs! Paywalls! MB Coins! More!

Konami has moved to clarify how microtransactions in Metal Gear Solid 5 work after reports indicated the FOB online multiplayer mode was locked behind a paywall.

Yesterday Gamespot reported players would have to spend real world money to build a Forward Operating Base (FOB), which can be invaded and defended by those who choose to enable the mode.

That report was based on the game as it is now - a week before release. And backing up the report, Gamespot published the screenshot, below, which shows players must first "purchase waters" in order to construct a new FOB to expand their base. Here, we see the following line: "Spend MB Coins (paid service) to purchase waters."

Konami seeks to build a bridge over troubled waters.

Mention of a "paid service" set tongues wagging and sparked concern among prospective Metal Gear Solid 5 players. Would Konami force players into spending money to unlock the FOB mode? And what are MB Coins? None of us at Eurogamer who have played Metal Gear Solid 5 have encountered MB Coins during our playthroughs. And if they are required, how much do they cost?

The kerfuffle sparked Konami into issuing a strongly-worded statement to PC Gamer in a bid to clarify the growing confusion. Here it is:

Gamespot posted an article following the review that the PVP (FOB) mode in MGSV TPP will be restricted behind a micro-transaction paywall and that is simply not true. The FOB mode will be fully accessible at launch and the micro-transaction layer to that specific feature in the game primarily acts as an accelerator. We'll have more details at launch, but we did try and clear these rumours up when they started circulating during E3. We even addressed this in our official E3 2015 demo when it went live during that show.

Konami later clarified further with Gamespot, insisting the "initial" FOB platform is not behind a paywall. Here's the follow-up statement:

To clarify, the initial FOB, which includes the FOB command platform and all sub-platforms, is not behind a Mother Base coin paywall. 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, that sounds like you'll get your first FOB for "free" (I say "free" because this is a full-price game we're talking about), and you'll have to spend MB Coins to buy more.

Just a week before launch, then, questions remain over these MB Coins and their "payment model". Is it possible to gain them through normal play, or are they an in-game currency that must be bought with real-world cash?

Konami producer Kenichiro Imaizumi took to Twitter to say there are multiple ways to "make money" in the game, but it's all a bit hazy.

Perhaps this latest microtransaction row is all part of Kojima's masterplan? We'll know more on 1st September, when Metal Gear Solid 5 is unleashed.

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About the author

Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

Editor  |  wyp100

Wesley is Eurogamer's editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.


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