Just when you think the sorry state of micro-transactions couldn’t get any grimmer, Konami go and totally outdo themselves by announcing insurance plans for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As if it wasn’t enough of a pain in the arse to get insurance for everything in real life, you can now hand over cold, hard cash to protect your soldiers and supplies from being nabbed by rival players.
It’s all part of MGS 5’s Forward Operating Base, which is the means by which players can build up their bases and also perform daring raids on others. It seemed like a decent enough concept initially, but then Konami revealed you could pay for better bases, and now you can spend your Mother Base Coins to sign up for insurance plans so you don't lose any of your goodies.
The very idea of insuring virtual consumable goods is ludicrous in itself. Spend some money though and you can guarantee that (most) property stolen from your FOB will be replenished. There are a few exceptions however, and the FOB Insurance Policy doesn’t cover staff held in prison, staff in defensive positions, wounded staff, and, erm, nuclear weapons. I don’t know why Diamond Dogs’ insurance policies don’t cover the single most important item in its possession, but there we go.
Right now you probably feel as if you’ve stepped into the Twilight Zone, but here we go. Insurance policies range from a single day’s cover up to 14 days, with prices ranging from 50 to 300 MB Coins. 100 MB Coins will set you back 79p, with packs going all the way up to 6000 MB Coins for £39.99. If you’re unsure about the insurance policy then Konami is also offering a 3-day trial, so you can understand just what it is you aren’t getting for your money.
You can also spend your coins on reducing the time required to construct new platforms, which Konami claims will make it “more difficult for a rival to infiltrate unseen." The very definition of pay-to-win, basically.
The implementation of microtransactions in Metal Gear Solid 5 continues to be an absolute nightmare. There was an air of surreptitiousness to it all with Konami drip-feeding info and not pushing most of it live until well after MGS 5’s launch. Now it’s in it’s like a bizarre fusion of AAA gameplay and mobile F2P mechanics, impeding progression at every turn. I reckon none have been more galling than this insurance policy though.
Has Konami gone a step too far with the MGS 5 insurance policy?