The Phantom Pain PR master class

Few game IPs command as loyal a following as Metal Gear Solid – and Konami knows this all too well.

So when a trailer for a supposedly new IP was premiered at the VGAs last week, whomever was behind it knew that eagle-eyed gamers would do the rest. And what has ensued is one of the best underground marketing drives of recent times.

Here’s the gist of it…

During the VGAs a fantastic trailer was shown for a game called The Phantom Pain. It featured a lot of hiding and crawling and a heavily-bandaged one-armed protagonist who bears more than a passing resemblance to none other than Solid Snake.

Furthermore, the game’s developer was named as Moby Dick Studio. Which of course doesn’t exist. Its CEO is supposedly Joakim Mogren. Joakim is an anagram of (Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo) Kojima while Mogren could well allude to the developer’s famous (and as of yet still unannounced) Project Ogre.

Then there’s the Phantom Pain logo which includes a number of seemingly random lines arranged behind it. Lines that can be combined to spell out the words ‘Metal Gear Solid V’.

Plus, Phantom Pain t-shirts were said to be seen at the Konami table on the night. And the trailer itself contains assets from the Metal Gear Solid Ground Zero trailer. Metal Gear stars Volgin and Psycho Mantis can also be seen in the short.

What does it all mean? Who knows. The Phantom Pain could be a real game. It could just be Metal Gear Solid V. It could be an MGS spin-off. It could be any number of things. The real point is that we are discussing it.

Here’s the VGA video:

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