Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-11-08 12:10 (JST)
Translated by. Ryuki Ishii
On November 7, Konami announced the temporary removal of Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 from digital storefronts, including PSN. Sales for games below will be suspended globally starting on November 8, 2021.
・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
According to Konami’s official statement, the company has decided to suspend the sales due to delays in license renewals for “select historical archive footage used in-game.” They are currently working on renewing the licenses, and intend to make the game available for purchase again.
Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 both include live-action footage in-game. For example, Metal Gear Solid 3 uses footage of nuclear explosions. Metal Gear Solid 2 also has some live-action footage, including a video that features a Japanese Gravure idol (akin to a bikini model). However, it is not clear which specific footage is in need of license renewal.
*Konami states that the license renewals are for select “historical archive” footage, so the bikini video is likely not included.
Fans of the series are speculating about this temporary sales suspension on social media and forums. For example, some people are pointing out that since Metal Gear Solid HD Collection came out exactly 10 years ago (November 8, 2011), the licenses for said historical archive footage were likely valid for only 10 years. It might just be a coincidence, but this seems like a reasonable assumption to make.
The suspension of sales is said to be a temporary measure. The affected titles are for the older generation of consoles, and many fans likely own them already. That said, we hope the licenses will be renewed and the games return to digital storefronts as soon as possible.