Friday, July 27, 2007

Metal Gear Solid 2 SOL 20th Anniversary

In Japan, good games usually enjoy three lifetimes. The best enjoy up to four or five before they succumb to the rigors of time and market satiation. The elite can go on forever as seen with Square's Final Fantasy games. The first lifetime is the initial release of the game at full price where 100,00 to a million copies are sold. The first release is where the publisher hopes to make most of its return on investment. Nary six months (or thereabouts) later, the publisher submits the game for "The Best" collection which is Sony's budget banner for older but still good games. Other than Sony's standard fees and printing costs, Best games at Y2800 are pretty much pure profit - the development and marketing costs have been factored into the first printing and product awareness is already out there. Should the publisher want to sow its oats for a third time, they'll normally release the game under its own in-house budget label.

In the case of MGS 2 Sons of Liberty, the 20th Anniversary re-release is the fourth reissue of the game by our count. Not bad. In addition to the game itself, the package includes a Sons of Liberty booklet and "The Document of Metal Gear Solid 2" which looks at the development of the game, the 3D models used, and interactive demos. The game package and booklet are both packaged in a collectible slipcase for safekeeping.

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