Let's start from the beginning.
Before Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain launched back in 2015, Konami seemingly went off the deep end. Reports of employees under surveillance and social media lockdown were rampant, and the publisher started canceling some of its biggest projects - this included the rebooted Silent Hills, which had quickly become one of the most popular horror games in recent memory.
Konami rubbed salt in the wound when it announced that, instead of focusing on triple-A video games, it would restructure to focus on mobile titles and pachinko machines featuring Silent Hill and Castlevania characters. It was starting to look like Metal Gear Solid V would be the last big-budget game that the publisher ever created, especially with series creator Hideo Kojima leaving the company.
Suddenly, fans had no idea what would become of one of the most influential franchises in gaming history - many were worried that Konami would cheapen the brand, or try to pump out cheap knock-offs. There looked to be some serious animosity between Konami and Kojima - but would the publisher really be willing to ruin such an important franchise over a disagreement?
Thankfully, nothing like that has happened yet, but fans probably won't be much happier with Konami after seeing this:
Yes, that is a Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater pachinko machine.
Going by the trailer alone, it'd be easy to assume that Konami simply announced another re-release of the classic PS2 game: the remastered visuals are admittedly gorgeous (if a little stiff), with the scene between Snake and the Boss looking better than it ever has.
Unfortunately, that's just not the case. As the trailer pulls back, it's easy to see the familiar silhouette of a pachinko machine - apparently, this is what the future holds for the franchise.
Remember, this was a series that helped redefine storytelling and characterization in gaming - and more recently, proved that open-world stealth doesn't just work, but can produce some of the most engaging experiences in the medium.
...and now it's a pachinko machine.
Unsurprisingly, the YouTube video is not going over well with fans: at the time of writing, the trailer has nearly 9,000 Dislikes. Compare that to the 300 Likes the video has received, and it's starting to look like we've got another Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare situation on our hands.
Either way, it doesn't look like Konami is going to slow down its pachinko machine production anytime soon: the Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater machine is due out in Japan later this year.