One million copies. At launch. Late last year, Kojima Productions Associate Producer Ryan Payton was quoted as saying Metal Gear Solid 4 needed to shift a million copies on launch day to turn a profit. From the original Reuters piece: "Payton said the new "Metal Gear Solid" needs to sell over a million copies on the first day it goes on sale due to its costly production, but that may be a tough mark to hit given sluggish PS3 sales." Payton's talked about this "quote" on his own podcast and once again clears the air on a recent Bionic Commando podcast:
I wish I could send a message out to the whole world, 'cause I hear about this all the time. It was a story from Reuters, so it was literally sent to every news source around the globe. Yeah, that's how I was quote. If you notice, in the news story, I have lots of quotes in there with quotation marks, but that part of the story isn't in quotation marks.
I gotta be honest, I took twenty different interviews that day at E For All, and I remember talking to a lot of people. I remember talking to Kemp Powers at Reuters who wrote that story. And he was very interested in hearing about the console war, about Sony versus Microsoft, and what are we doing, are we going to go over to Microsoft, how much will they pay us. You know, all this weird stuff.
Number one, that million dollar figure is incorrect. I don't even know how many figures we'd need to sell to be profitable. More importantly, that's not something you really talk about in an interview. It's nothing I'd ever say. It could've been something like, 'You guys need to sell at least a million copies to be profitable, right?' 'Well, yeah, that sounds about right.' Worldwide, obviously, right? I don't think that's too controversial, but it blew up... I've been trying to contact Kemp Powers over at Reuters to see, I don't know if he recorded it on tape, but I'd love to hear it. So we can set the record straight..
Note: The rest of the podcast is an interesting listen with Payton and Bionic Commando producer Ben Judd discussing how the Japanese game industry and how to break in.
Capcom vs. Konami [Bionic Commando]