Konami announced that it had removed Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 from digital storefronts. That removing the games on online stores for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo 3DS. The reason for the removal was that Konami is currently working on renewing the licensing for some of the select historical archive footage used in both games. Konami promises it will only be a temporary thing.
The Metal Gear franchise is infamous for its complex storylines that mix real-world history with its fictional plot. The first three Metal Gear Solid games used extensive real-world footage that showcases major historical events or archives certain points in humanity's history. The footage is frequently used to help give players an image during some of the more expositionary scenes in the games. It is not stated which of the footage that Konami has lost the license for.
To use those historical videos in the game, Konami needed to license them from the owners. However, most licenses only last for a certain amount of time, and Konami's licensing for the historical footage has now run out. Given how important the historical archive footage is to Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, fans feel the removal of the footage is unthinkable. Fortunately, Konami clarifies that it is working on renewing the licenses for the select historical footage.
Even though Konami has assured fans that removing the games on digital stores is only temporary, fans have gone to social media to spread the #SaveMetalGear movement. The hashtag isn't only about preserving 2 and 3, though. An infographic on Reddit shows that many of the games in the franchise have become harder to play. According to supporters of this movement, they feel as if the games are being lost to time.
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