Are we honest to ourselves and to others when it comes to brand loyalty?

First things first, I’m retconning myself a little bit and awarding last week’s post about Metal Gear designs a Review of the Month status. The name has been changed to reflect this. The reason for this change was that I need to do some additional work.

Then, to the actual post at hand. The now just released trailer for Metal Gear Solid V by Hideo Kojima confirms that the Metal Gear we see in the book photo is indeed in the game. Kojima even makes sure to emphasize that it is also the definitive, ultimate Metal Gear to the point of referencing 2001; Space Odyssey when it whips its sword out.

Absolutely stupid
Absolutely stupid in the context of the overall series

Whatever the author’s intent Kojima had for the series is rather blatant in the trailer; only Solid series and the entries he worked on matter and are canon in his eyes. Let’s emphasize that; in Kojima’s eyes. Currently, he is no longer associated with Konami or the Metal Gear franchise. Whatever he states and thinks is no longer relevant to the franchise, much like whatever Inafune had through for Mega Man.

For both Mega Man and Metal Gear franchises, the person most famous for them has never been the only person working on them. This is not like with literature, where you often have one author writing these works with the help of the editor, or like with more popular and successful authors, without any editor. There’s a good reason why Tom Clancy’s books became so bloated and fell in quality.

Inafune had less control over Mega Man than Kojima had over Metal Gear. This is mostly because of two things. First, CAPCOM recognized Inafune’s skills when partnering him with people who could fill in whatever Inafune lacked. Look at Mighty Number 9 to see how the game ended up being much less than initially promised when he was all on his own. Minakuchi Engineering did a lot to the franchise, and most fans don’t even realize this.

Secondly, Konami recognised Kojima’s superstar status after Metal Gear Solid. He had been a relative hit after the first Metal Gear and with games that followed, but nothing could really beat the original Metal Gear for whatever reason. This applies to the NES port, especially in the West where absolutely nobody had a MSX. I won’t deny that Kojima’s games have been popular, and that MGSV will most likely be a huge success despite many fans swearing by their mothers’ graves never to touch Konami game after all the drama that has been going down behind the scenes.

There’s basically three different ways to approach any product out there; ignore everything surrounding it and concentrate on the product itself, concentrate on the provider and follow his products ignoring their overall quality, and concentrate on the owner of the product and whatever they may be doing.

The first is most beneficial to the consumer. After all, the product is what the consumer enjoys and it needs to deliver without any excuses. If it doesn’t, it’s not the individual who is responsible but provider as a whole. A problem with this approach may be that it ignores whatever the company does to produce the products. For example, the question of child labour and inadequate working environments with H&M’s factories may turn people to go alternatives.

The second approach is the classic rockstar approach. Whatever they do is like the word of God, they can do no harm to you. This idolising is extremely harmful, because the product doesn’t really matter, just the person bringing it.

More often than not, these two are more or less combined when it comes to general consumers. However, the third one enters here with companies that do not have a face as their representatives. Coca-Cola is one, and another could be car companies. Of course, if you’re really deep into the car design scene, you may know the teams and individual designers who have headed some of the most popular cars or the most expensive ones. Then again, it wasn’t too uncommon to see people rooting for a game company simply because they deemed their products the best things out there.

Company and brand loyalties play a big part in all these, thou rockstar loyalty is a thing. An informed consumer usually is aware of all three and wages if the product is worth their money and time based on these matters. However, human subjectivity is a bitch and we all knowingly practice double thinking. While we preach to others about proper treatment of animals or people, we are willingly ignoring or downplaying the negative effects they have.

I’m not saying that we are awful people. I’m saying that we act human. We wilfully ignore certain things, but if we can be honest to ourselves, even if it comes into such things as buying things, we could find certain kind of peace. Accepting that, perhaps we all could more informed on multiple views and arguments, and then base our decisions on those while still giving chances for those things we don’t agree on.

But that would require effort, and you know how hard effort is.