New Zone of the Enders planned

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima promises continuation of mech-combat franchise, but exactly when remains a question.


Zone of the Enders
Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner

It would be hard to make the case that Konami and Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima had a disappointing Electronic Entertainment Expo. After multiple prolonged teaser campaigns, Kojima took the stage at Konami's press event to announce Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for the PSP as well as his involvement in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, a new installment in the classic vampire-hunting action adventure game in development at Spanish studio Mercury Steam. Those announcements were made in addition to Metal Gear Solid Rising, announced for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC earlier that week.

A prolonged absence certainly helps build a cult-like following.
A prolonged absence certainly helps build a cult-like following.

Still, many fans of the noted game designer had hoped that at least one of those teasers pointed to a new installment in Kojima Productions' dormant Zone of the Enders mech-combat franchise. As reported by Andria Sang, that hope may soon become a reality, as Kojima recently wrote on his company's blog that he fully intends to create a Zone of the Enders sequel, though it remains at question as to when that will happen.

"We'd like to make [a Zone of the Enders] sequel at some point," Kojima wrote of the game, which is known in Japan as Anubis: Zone of the Enders. "Also, we feel that if we do it, we'd like to make [Zone of the Enders] succeed this time. I already have a game plan and method for sales in my head. However, we don't know if it will be green lighted. The production lines within Kojima Productions are currently full."

Kojima bemoaned the lackluster sales of Zone of the Enders 2, which received a strong critical reception upon its launch for the PlayStation 2 in 2003. "It's a title that even now, six years later, is extremely well received by the press and users," he said. "However, due to errors in setting the release time frame, while it was a medium hit, it did not achieve the expected numbers."

Kojima went on to note that Zone of the Enders 2 was initially scheduled for a holiday 2002 launch. However, because of the competitive climate, the game was bumped to February 2003 in Japan (March 2003 in the US). That strategy backfired, Kojima wrote, because many of those same competitors either similarly pushed their games back or were simply hit with delays, creating an inordinate number of launches during the first part of 2003.

"Everything was due to an error by me, the producer," he wrote. "At that time, if I hadn't made a mistake with the release date, [Zone of the Enders] might have ended up a major Kojima Productions title to follow MGS, still seeing development as a series."

The veteran game designer closed his post emphatically, writing, "I cannot make a promise about time. However, I can promise a sequel."

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