We recently had a chance to speak with Hideo Kojima regarding Ground Zeroes, the upcoming prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. When asked about some of the criticism surrounding Ground Zeroes' length, Kojima revealed that circumstances led to this mission seeing a separate release from the rest of the game.
Ideally, I would have wanted to release the prologue and the main game together as a set or at least at the same time, but the main game is roughly 200 times bigger than the prologue. Given the length of this game, it was impossible to have it ready by the time the next-generation platforms launched. I thought this would be an ideal moment where people would want a Japanese high-end game. So it wasn't necessarily a strategic move where we thought too much about it, we just wanted to have a high-end game that people could experience on next-generation consoles.
He continued by telling us how important it was that fans were given a taste of what was to come, even if that hadn't been his original intention. As for the content of Ground Zeroes, many have called it The Phantom Pain's equivalent to Snake Eater's “Virtuous Mission”, or Sons of Liberty's Tanker chapter. While the main mission featured in this prologue reportedly takes about two hours to complete, Kojima and his team have stated that side missions and exploration add to this play time. Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes launches for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on March 18th.