Konami just announced that both Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 are being taken down from online shopfronts, after issues emerged with “licenses for select historical archive footage used in-game.”
The company’s full statement reads:
*** [Important Notification] Temporary removal of METAL GEAR SOLID 2 and METAL GEAR SOLID 3 from digial storefronts (PlayStation®3, Xbox 360, Nintendo 3DS, etc.)
Thank you for playing the METAL GEAR 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.
We sincerely ask for your patience and understanding as we work towards making these products available for purchase once again.
Thank you for your continued support of the METAL GEAR series.
Sounds like something that should have been worked out before those licenses needed renewing, but who am I to lecture Konami on image rights.
The takedowns not only include those two games, but collections that include them as well, so in addition to MGS2 and MGS3 disappearing, Konami are also removing Metal Gear Solid HD Edition from sale as well.
While there’s no word on whether every piece of archival footage was to blame or just some of it, for an example of the kind of videos we’re talking about, here’s some Cold War footage from a Metal Gear Solid 3 cutscene:
The full list of affected games and shopfronts are:
・PlayStation®3 METAL GEAR SOLID 2 SONS OF LIBERTY HD EDITION
・PlayStation®3 METAL GEAR SOLID 3 SNAKE EATER HD EDITION
・PlayStation®3 METAL GEAR SOLID HD EDITION
・PlayStation®Vita METAL GEAR SOLID 2 SONS OF LIBERTY HD EDITION
・PlayStation®Vita METAL GEAR SOLID 3 SNAKE EATER HD EDITION
・PlayStation®Vita METAL GEAR SOLID HD COLLECTION
・PlayStation™Now METAL GEAR SOLID HD COLLECTION
・Xbox 360 METAL GEAR SOLID HD EDITION: 2 & 3
・Nintendo 3DS METAL GEAR SOLID SNAKE EATER 3D
・GOG.com METAL GEAR SOLID 2 SUBSTANCE
・NVIDIA® SHIELD™ METAL GEAR SOLID 2 HD for SHIELD TV
・NVIDIA® SHIELD™ METAL GEAR SOLID 3 HD for SHIELD TV
The takedowns apply from today (November 8, 2021). Whether their removals truly are temporary, or could result in something like a repackaged re-release with the footage missing, we’ll have to see.