Updates to this story via comments from Konami have been made inline below.
will ship on September 1 in North America and Europe, but access to its competitive multiplayer mode, Forward Operating Base, will be restricted behind a microtransaction paywall.
In The Phantom Pain, players use various resources acquired within the game to facilitate the construction of an off-shore base, but in order to participate in the online multiplayer mode, where players attack each other’s bases, they must first use real-world money to purchase MB Coins.
MB Coins are then used to purchase open water in the game to make space for a PVP-dedicated base. This was discovered during GameSpot’s review process for The Phantom Pain, but without online functionality, we couldn’t determine the cost of MB Coins, or fully evaluate F.O.B. mode.
When reached for comment, Konami’s public relations team initially responded: “…unfortunately we donâ€™t have any official details to share at the moment regarding the microtransaction model for F.O.B.. We should have more information for you next week though as those details are still being solidified.”
Later, the developer clarified that the F.O.B. mode will be “fully accessible at launch and the microtransaction layer to that specific feature in the game primarily acts as an accelerator.” Konami has promised to reveal more details at launch.
Konami producer Kenichiro Imaizumi has also taken to Twitter to clarify MB Coins, the currency driving the gameplay of the F.O.B. multiplayer mode, can be earned in ways other than paying real world money for them.
You can make money by completing missions on single campaign mode. There are other ways to make money as well.
— Ken-ichiro Imaizumi (@Ken1555)
GameSpot has contacted Konami for further clarification in order to reconcile our reviewer’s experience with its explanation.
According to a screen in the game, in order to access F.O.B., â€œyou must purchase territorial waters before construction can begin.â€ While the service is currently unavailable online, the game indicates that this will be a paid service, saying, â€œSpend MB Coins (paid service) to purchase waters,â€ as seen in the screenshot above. Weâ€™ve reached out to Konami for further clarification, but we may not know more until the online service goes live on September 1. Through our playthrough of the game, we never encountered a way to earn MB Coins.
The Forward Operating Base PvP modes are separate from Metal Gear Online, which is a more expansive mutliplayer mode for the game. Konami initially said , but later said the competitive multiplayer mode would instead become available on October 6 on consoles and sometime in January 2016 on .
Konami has said Metal Gear Online won’t cost anything extra. Although very little is known about it, previous details have revealed it will have a class system, while characters such as Venom Snake and Ocelot will make an appearance.
GameSpot’s awarded the game a 10. The review will be updated after the F.O.B. mode goes live on September 1.