There’s just no keeping a highly trained, gravel-voiced, genetically engineered super spy down. Twenty-five years after the first game hit the MSX2 computer, and more famously the NES, the Metal Gear series has sold a total of 31 million copies worldwide.
Metal Gear publisher Konami announced the milestone on its homepage on Friday, just one day before series creator Hideo Kojima spoke at the opening of the Art of Video Games Exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. With 31 million copies sold, Metal Gear is now in league with other best-selling franchises like Street Fighter and the Medal of Honor series
While it’s been some time since a new Metal Gear game has been released—the last was 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker for PSP—the series has seen a flurry of re-releases in recent months. Konami released high-definition re-masters of Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and Peace Walker for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 as part of the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection in November. Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D was released for the Nintendo 3DS earlier this month. A Playstation Vita edition of the HD Collection will be released in June.
The series will go in a wildly different direction later this year though. The ambitiously-titled Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, developed by Bayonetta-creators Platinum Games rather than Kojima Productions, is expected out before the end of the year. Rising focuses on fast-paced sword fights and absurd acrobatics rather than the patient stealth of the Solid series. Based on trailers for the game though, it will keep the trademark ridiculous melodrama that has kept the series popular for a quarter of a century.