VGA 2012: The Phantom Pain Debut Trailer

By Mark Delaney, 6 years ago
There's a handful of reasons to believe this debut trailer for The Phantom Pain is actually not what it says it is. If you've been following along online for the past 20 hours, you may have heard about this inquisitive, cryptic trailer from the new Moby Dick Studio. The web is pouring with rumors that this game is actually a new sequel in the Metal Gear universe, perhaps Metal Gear 5 specifically.

Take a look for yourself and then let's look at the evidence.

Interesting, huh? Whether it's a new title or a sequel, the setting and sequence of events leaves us with so many questions. Let's try to get the first one answered: What is this game, really?

It didn't take long for various message boards to start picking apart the trailer, and people quickly questioned what they saw. For starters, the Swedish developer, Moby Dick Studio, has never been heard of previous to this trailer, and the only online presence the studio has is its own website which was created on November 19th of this year.

Secondly, the studio's founder is Joakim Mogren. Joakim is an anagram for 'Kojima', as in Hideo Kojima, the brains behind the Metal Gear series.

The hospitalized character in the trailer also looks like Snake, and many think the man in flames looks like Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater‘s Yevgeny Borisovitch Volgin. There's a few other circumstantial clues that you may have spotted throughout the trailer. It's also worth noting that during the VGA pre-show, Geoff Keighley hinted that one of the trailers shown would be "cryptic" and requiring the viewers to figure it out, and everything else during the show was very straightforward.

All but confirming Konami's master trolling is the fact that two "Moby Dick Studio employees" were spotted and photographed at a Konami VGA after-party in The Phantom Pain t-shirts.

With the current consoles likely ready to be replaced in the next 12-18 months, and most games seemingly having been announced for 2013, there's no telling for which generation or consoles this mysterious game will eventually release. We'll be covering this game as long as it remains relevant to our focus here on TA.

For now, let's hear your theories.
Mark Delaney
Written by Mark Delaney
Mark is a Boston native now living in Portland, Oregon. He's the Editorial Manager on TA, loves story-first games, and is one of three voices on the TA Playlist podcast. Outside of games he likes biking, sci-fi, the NFL, and spending time with his fiancée and son. He almost never writes in the third person.