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Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game is canceled, says publisher IDW Games

IDW sites the ongoing global pandemic among the reasons for the cancellation

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Artwork of Solid Snake and Gray Fox from the original Metal Gear Solid from Yoji Shinkawa. Image: Konami

Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game is canceled. The announcement was made Feb. 17, two days after a forum post by designer Emerson Matsuuchi, who indicated that IDW Games is no longer moving forward with the project. They claim that the decision was made in December. The game would have cost $125 at retail. Polygon has reached out to IDW and Konami for more information.

Announced in December 2018, Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game was well into development, with prototypes — including miniatures — shown on multiple occasions throughout 2019. The project encountered multiple delays, but it’s unclear precisely why its publisher backed out. A version of the game was expected for both Tabletop Simulator and the Tabletopia platform in March.

“I have been pursuing a myriad of options to keep the project going,” Matsuuchi wrote on the Board Game Geek forums on Monday. “I have offered to put in capital from my company to help fund the last leg of the project, and even to buy out IDW’s interest in the project along with purchasing all of the assets. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any traction with those options.”

A yellow plastic mech stands on a table, a large weapon protruding from its right-hand side. It is unpainted.
A prototype Metal Gear miniature shown in a post from IDW in 2020.
Image: IDW Games

Matsuuchi wrote that the rights to the design itself reverted back to him in early February, but not the license from Konami.

“I have reached out and enlisted the help of a friend that is a bonafide [sic] expert in licensing and has connections with Konami,” Matsuuchi wrote. “There are no guarantees that our efforts will bear fruit, I’m still optimistic that we will be able to get the MGS game to market, to the patient fans that have been kept waiting.”

Last year Polygon named Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game among its most anticipated new titles of the summer. That’s before it was delayed a full year into the summer of 2021. The game had been available for pre-order through both Amazon and Backerkit, the later of which indicates that more than 2,000 people committed more than $109 each for a copy of the final game.

Update (Feb. 17): In an email to those who had registered to pre-order the game, IDW Games made it official saying that the game has been canceled. We’ve updated our article to indicate that. The full statement is included below.

To the Metal Gear Community,

When we talked back in August, our team shared our timeline for bringing you the best Metal Gear game possible. Since then, we have been working hard behind the scenes to chart a course through the complexities of the global COVID-19 environment. Due to many obstacles with manufacturing timelines, pricing surges, and shipping ports shutting down, it has made the landscape for producing tabletop games—especially of this scope—extremely challenging.

We have made the difficult decision to cancel Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game. As current supporters of this campaign on Backerkit, your cards have not and will not be charged. If you originally pre-ordered the game on Amazon, you will have received notice of that cancellation in late November 2019.

We want to especially thank Emerson Matsuuchi for all of his passion, creativity, and continual innovations in designing this game. We’d also like to thank the team at Konami for being a receptive and supportive partner throughout the development process. Our decision to cancel this game reflects entirely upon outside circumstances and not the hard work, motivation, and willingness of our partners.

We greatly appreciate your support and patience throughout this project. Since the beginning, we have been excited to bring a new Metal Gear Solid experience to life through tabletop games. This is an iconic and celebrated IP for fans and we both appreciated and shared your enthusiasm for the possibilities this game would have brought.

If you have any questions regarding your pre-order, please reach out to us at Support@IDWGames.com and our team there will be able to help.

See you on a future battlefield,

IDW Games

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