Licensing woes: Some Metal Gear Solid games are being removed temporarily

Cover for Metal Gear Solid 2 Substance

In an announcement today, Konami has stated that it is temporarily removing some Metal Gear Solid games from digital storefronts due to licenses expiring for some historical archive footage used in the titles. According to the developer, this is only a temporary move and the affected games will presumably be restored once licensing issues are resolved.

There are a number of affected titles, listed below:

  • 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

It is important to note that the aforementioned games will be removed from digital distribution from today, but Konami has not provided timelines for when they will be restored.

Licensing issues with games is nothing new. Back in 2017, Alan Wake was removed from distribution due to expiring music licenses but was restored in 2018 after assistance from Microsoft. We discussed this matter in detail in our recent interview with Alan Wake's composer too, and you can read more about it here. Similarly, Microsoft's Forza titles are periodically but permanently removed from distribution to expiring licenses for cars, brands, and more. That said, it remains to be seen how much time it will take for Konami to renegotiate licenses for its Metal Gear Solid titles.

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