Metal Gear Solid V Gets by Far the Worst Sales Debut of All Numbered MGS Games in Japan

Many gamers all over the world weren’t too excited by quite a few elements of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, and apparently Japanese gamers aren’t an exception, despite the fact that the game is the first of the main series to launch on multiple platforms from the get go.

The PS3 version of the game sold 119,615 copies according to Media Create, while the PS4 version followed at a relatively short distance with 91, 821 copies. The Xbox 360 version didn’t even make the top 20, which means it sold less than 10,293 copies.

This means that the game sold, between all platforms, less than 221,729 copies in its first week in Japan. That would be definitely good result if we weren’t talking about a numbered Metal Gear Solid game, but we are.

To put the sales in perspective, let’s look at all the first weeks of sales of numbered Metal Gear Solid games in Japan (without counting remakes). We added Peace Walker as well, since many consider it part of the main series.

  • Metal Gear Solid (Playstation) – 349,921
  • Metal Gear Solid 2:  Sons of Liberty (PS2) – 469,683
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (PS2) – 493,827
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3) – 480,695
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PSP) – 445,138
  • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes –  Under 221,729

As you can see, besides the first title, back when the series wasn’t yet as popular as became afterwards, numbered Metal Gear Solid tites always sold between just south of 450,000 copies and 500,000 their debut week in Japan.

Ground Zeroes didn’t even manage to reach half the amount of its predecessors besides the first.

While the game is definitely quite fun, maybe Konami and Kojima-san should take this as a clear signal that the “prologue” approach doesn’t work so well, after all.

Will The Phantom Pain heal the wound? Quite possibly, but we’ll have to wait at least a year to know.

Join the Discussion

  • JustGaming

    If I were Kojima, I woud seriously consider some DLC for this ‘demo’ as people seem to like calling it. Perhaps with added value it will shift a few more.

    • nougard

      Yep, it’s surely the game’s problem, not enough half-assed throwaway content, for yet another price.

      • JustGaming

        My, bad, but still, I never said it should be PAID DLC though, did I??

        • Cameron Standring

          Exactly. For starters, give each version the opposite console’s exclusive mission after a couple of months. Then, give us some varied/goofy Side-Ops – still using the base, of course – for free. Another thing they could likely do would be Metal Gear Online – we know they’re working on that for The Phantom Pain already, and if they released it as free Ground Zeroes DLC (once again, with only the Ground Zeroes map), it could both add excellent value to GZ and work as something of a widespread beta for TPP.

          • JustGaming

            This guy gets it.

          • PCS4-Box U

            Man, i don’t even think tha solves its real problem.. It’s the map for me, once you’ve explored it, its still the same rehash just a different objective. The same ole playground just gets boring after awhile. Some more story DLC would be welcome though, maybe some throw-back Peace Walker missions?
            It’s also incredibly dumbed-down… You can easily just start walking down the main roads killing everything in sight with little consequence..

          • JustGaming

            That’s it though, if they pushed some story DLC into it, be it new missions or otherwise, I think it might help. Also I think Cameron up there nailed it; if they are playing with Metal Gear Online for PP, they could throw in some multiplayer shizzle too. I dunno, I just feel a bit bad for MGS:GZ. It’s abundently clear that, while everyone’s perceptions of value are different, this release won’t exactly be a critical success. Perhaps it doesn’t need to be though, but I will laugh my ass off if MGS5:PP has clear advantages both on and off-line for people who bothered to invest in GZ.

          • PCS4-Box U

            Well I did buy it but I kinda wish i would have waited for a price drop, it woudl have made a great PS+ game! i imagine thats what a lot of people are holding out for, the pricedrop that is.

          • JustGaming

            Or the deluxe edition of MGS5:PP 😉

  • Jecht_Sin

    Does it count digital sales? At least in Italy the PS4 digital version is still 20€ cheaper. And it is also only 3.6GB to download, low enough to download it in less time than to go to a shop.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      It doesn’t, but the Japanese are still very fond of their physical releases, especially for big games, and it’s extremely unlikely that the digital version sold as much as the physical one. I’d chalk it as an impossibility.

      • Jecht_Sin

        Ow!! That’s for Japan only. My bad, I missed it. Forget about what I wrote, then, 🙂

  • PrinceHeir

    That sucks, but Though if Phantom Pain get’s released, Ground Zeroes sales might be combined since it is a two part series after all.

  • Stranger On The Road

    I for one haven’t bought Ground Zeroes, I’m waiting for the The Phantom Pain bundle, if there isn’t one then I hope that I’ll buy Ground Zeroes few weeks before the The Phantom Pain.

    I wonder how many fans thought of doing the same thing.

    • PCS4-Box U

      You could buy it the night before TPP released and have no problems playing through the main mission. That said, there really is a lot more content than just the main missions… None of it particular intriguing though, walking around the same base and basically doing the same/similar missions over and over.

    • Robert Backland

      I’m definitely waiting for the inevitable bundle.

  • Doesn’t surprise me 1 bit

  • dmkd

    Why do you think it’s not working?
    They made demo version of game and sold 220,000 copies of it. In fact it worked very well.

    • JustGaming

      And that’s just in Japan. Like I said, perhaps it doesn’t need to be a runaway success in terms of sales.

  • Galen Nycroft

    Not surprising…the game felt like DLC than a full fledged title. People probably expected more.

    • Logash

      You mean less cause they didn’t bother buying it.

      • Galen Nycroft

        Yes, after seeing reviews, most people probably are waiting for some kind of price drop. I enjoyed the game…then again, I paid $60 for MGS Revengence. I would even buy a Metal Gear RPG.

  • RealityCheck2013

    Why Kojima bothers making the Xbox Versions i will never know. Just forget about the X360 & X1 for the next MGS :-/ Xbox owners don’t like MGS games, well that is what they have been saying for years & years 😀

    • Axe99

      Keep in mind these are Japanese sales – the X360 install base over there is pretty small, and X1 virtually nonexistent (just a few importers). They sold decent amounts of MGS3 on the original Xbox.

      • Masta GunZ

        MGS3 never came out on the original Xbox… MGS2: Substance was the only original Xbox Metal Gear Solid title, and it didn’t do so well considering it came out almost a year after the PS2 release, and right around the time when Splinter Cell was originally released as an Xbox exclusive, way back in the day.

        To make matters worse, the original Xbox version was not even officially released in Japan, just EU/NA.

        The HD collection for 360/PS3 on the other hand only sold about 230,000 copies on each platform, but that’s a different story. Pretty much, Kojima loves Playstation and its for himself, his Japanese people, and diehard fans. While he releases the Xbox versions, just to expand his userbase(and to get more money of course).

        • Axe99

          Argh, right you are, sorry, brain explosion. Not sure what I was thinking (I wrote that three months ago), but whether I confused the HD release or substance, it was a choke on my part, thanks for remedying :).

    • Gabrielsp85

      That’s not the problem, the problem is that most people even hard core fans refused to pay $30 for a glorified demo which even Kojima made it worst calling it a “tutorial”

    • TheWbarletta

      Just because someone owns an Xbox, he doesn’t like MGS?
      This is pure bullshit and non-sense logic. They are just console where you play games, grow up and get over these stupid console wars.

  • Keep in mind you are comparing it to full featured games and thats pretty good sales for not being a full game.

    • It’s more than good. It’s a friggin demo! It’s basically free money for Kojima…It’s gonna sell a friggin million units and it’s nothing but the intro to a game! How you paint this in a bad light is beyond me, like I said, equivalent of trolling.

  • Craig Sloan

    Well it was well documented by Kojima himself that the game was a prologue. It was documented that you could complete it in two hours. Obviously this puts some people off buying it. More so at it’s price that early into a new console launch in Japan when they have just paid for consoles and games. I’d say for a demo ( let’s face it that’s what it is ) It’s sold pretty well.

    Expect Phantom Pain to sell 400-500K when launched in week one.

  • Averix

    Too pricey for a boring demo. Honestly, after playing it, I won’t be buying the full game.

    • Anime10121

      Game was boring to you 🙁

      I loved it from beginning to end (though with me being a straight up MGS junkie, its kinda to be expected) 😛

    • Noah Essa

      You do have to keep in mind that the phantom pain has many more features, as a matter of fact hundreds of other features. With all the quests, multiplayer, and the story the game should last you a long time. Whilst I agree I do wish ground zeroes had a bigger map, with more stealth options, the phantom pain will serve everything that a stealth game you would want as well as more.

  • Michael Balchunas

    Sales or no sales I think it felt great as just a prologue and I bought it knowing it was going to be just that. I cant wait for the open world in TPP.

  • Xtreme Derp

    221k + digital sales is pretty good for Japan’s small PS4 install base.

  • datdude

    221,000 units sold in Japan ALONE for a glorified demo that is little more than a money grab and quick cash influx for Konami . Konami is chuckling all the way to the bank. So why doesn’t this website focus on that offensive aspect of this story instead of attempting to compare sales of a demo to full MGS game releases? What a website. Strong work.

  • Matt Dickinson

    Seems like a bad comparison to make. It’s not the full game (Phantom Pain).

  • blessedswine

    Its real simple the game didnt sell well cause its NOT A GAME its a one level DEMO

  • Virdin Barzey

    Its more of a demo than a game. The value is questionable to many non-MGS fans. Drop the price quickly and it will change dramatically.

  • azureknight

    I bet it would have sold a lot better if ZOE3 was packed in with it.

  • neko working

    no wonder,,,

  • Anime10121

    I think its fine for what Ground Zeroes is (in fact, honestly, I thought it wouldnt do THAT well). It may be a numbered entry, but its not even NEAR a full game, and the only “Main story” segment of the ame can be beaten in about an hour. Considering most MGS games range in playtime from 8-30hrs I think thats actually some really GOOD sales for the game! I also think its setting a bad precedent that a game with such a short play length can achieve half the sales of a REAL entry in the series (this coming from someone who bought his PS4 FOR Ground Zeroes and loves the game to death)…

  • This is almost the equivalent of trolling. MGSV:GZ is nothing more than a tech demo. Fans know this is just something to whole them over until PP comes out. The fact that you compare this demo directly to other full releases shows what little knowledge you have on the subject, or that you are just putting numbers in an article to get hits.

    Smh…video game journalism at its finest.

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    221,729, not to bad for a paid “demo” if you think about it.

  • Nicholas Perry

    Maybe they are all waiting for the eventual re-release packaged with TPP :p

  • Lex Luthor

    We’re not ‘talking’ about a Metal Gear Solid numbered game, we’re talking about a Prologue game, if this was TPP, then this would of sold astronomically, but as it is i think only a handful of die hards will get this game. I myself purchased it for $35, i live in Australia and this was a great price considering EB Games had it for $49.95. I think for $35 its good value to me, i mean i havent even completed the first mission and i’ve already spent several hours just going around making sure all npcs are out cold or dead etc..

    But i can still see why a lot of people would be very unhappy with this game, the casual gamer for the most part would be expecting this to be a full game. On the back of the box it states ‘From Hideo Kojima comes the FIRST PART of the Metal Gear Solid V Experience’ this could be very misleading to a number of people despite the fact it still mentions it’s a prologue.

  • Placebo

    Good news, charging anything over $10 for this is insulting IMO. I won’t be playing it until it’s free on PSN+ Guess I’m in the fortunate position whereby I’ve not played previous games in the series so not a hardcore fan which is those being taken advantage of, will be gladly buying Phantom Pain as it looks incredible.

  • Nihelus Aurenis

    I dunno, for a short overpriced prequel, I think the sales are pretty good. It may have a number in the title, but it isn’t a “main” numbered MGS game…

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  • Robert Costlow

    As far as I’m concerned it DESERVED it’s poor sales… Kojima put his name to this horrible thing like it was something to be proud of…! Shameful… Just shameful… What do we get for our hard-earned money? 6 demos and some DLC for Phantom Pain..!

  • Tong Chang

    So sad….I get so tired playing as snake…

  • Anthony Smith

    “weren’t too excited by quite a few elements of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes” Sorry but the fact that it didnt sell well has NOTHING to to with the elements in the game. Everything that was introduced in the game was pretty great. Its the fact that it was a 30$ demo that made it not sell.