The Phantom Pain is one of two things - an intriguing new IP for Xbox 360, PC and PS3 from hitherto unknown Swedish developer Moby Dick Studios, or a new Metal Gear Solid game in disguise. There's been nary a peep of the project since I wittered anxiously about it in December, but all will become clear tomorrow. Possibly.
We know this thanks to Geoff Keighley of GameTrailers and crisp-induced controversy fame. "This should be interesting: Heading off to interview Moby Dick Studio Head CEO Joakim Mogren," he tweeted last night, adding: "The Mogren interview will be on GTTV this Thurs night. He said he has something new to show me."
This follows hard on the heels of certain enigmatic comments from Hideo Kojima, Pope of Metal Gear. He's hosting a talk at the Game Developers Conference in a couple of weeks, titled 'Photorealism through the eyes of a 'Fox' - The core of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes'. As reported by CVG, the talk has been extended at relatively short notice from 60 to 90 minutes. Kojima says "it will be tech presentation of FOX engine but also there's an announcement to be made".
What could that announcement be? The obvious prediction is that Ground Zeroes - a suspiciously handsome open world prequel, revealed in September - will see next generation release. But we wouldn't be all that surprised to discover that the Moby Dick Studios interview and GDC talk are connected.
Kojima has recently expressed his desire to test out ideas intended for new IP through Metal Gear Solid projects, leveraging the brand's power. "I've always said that I want to work on original properties, but Metal Gear offers plenty of benefits," he observed in November.
"The Fox Engine, for example, took a lot of time and money [to create]; we were only able to develop it because it was intended for the next Metal Gear. In the next game, I'm introducing concepts intended for entirely new intellectual properties using the Metal Gear brand."
Go on, watch the Phantom Pain trailer again and tell me your thoughts.