Metal Gear Solid 5's FOB Insurance Might Be The Dumbest Microtransaction Ever

Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain's latest update just added a new feature called "FOB insurance." If you hate it when publishers hit you up for extra money, you're really not going to like it.

The insurance sounds okay in theory. It's designed to correct the big flaw of FOBs, or forward operating bases. Players can construct these secondary outposts to dramatically boosts your resource generation and production capacity but you need to go online to have them. Once you're online, though, other players can attack these bases and steal staff or equipment.

FOB insurance lets you protect these bases in the event of a successful attack. When you have insurance, any staff or materials stolen by other players won't be taken from your base. Instead, the enemy is merely getting duplicates.

However, Konami decided to make FOB insurance full of holes just like real insurance. Abducted staff being held in your brig aren't covered. Wounded staff or staff defending your FOB also won't be replaced.

What's worse, though, is that this insurance costs money. You have to spend Mother Base (MB) Coins, purchasable through your platform's online store in bundles that range from $0.99 to $49.99. It's not like you're paying for permanent insurance, either. Konami notes that the coverage is only for a limited time...which is great if you're trying to make money off the sale of FOB insurance but pretty crappy if you're buying it.

Furthermore, some players have already spent money to build forward operating bases in the first place. The initial FOB is free but additional ones cost between 1000 and 1200 MB Coins apiece, or roughly $10. For players with multiple FOBs, getting insurance means that you're paying more and money money to protect the initial money you spent in the first place.

Konami says that MB coins will be given away "periodically." It's too bad there's no way to purchase them with GMP, the currency players earn through the course of the game. The game's microtransactions would be less galling if players had an alternate way to acquire these premium services, even if that alternative was farming GMP through missions. Many players would spend the extra time gathering GMP if it meant they didn't need to spend cash in the game.

Speaking of time: you can now spend MB Coins to speed up the production of new facilities on your FOBs. This also helps you against attacks, because the larger your base the harder it is to infiltrate. And again, it's a way for you to spend money to protect your money.

The only sort of defense you can offer these microtransactions is, as Konami says, they're completely optional. That's pretty much the only positive thing you can say here, though.

Today's update doesn't just add things for you to spend cash on. It also introduces Event FOB missions, where players will infiltrate A.I.-owned bases designed by the developers. Your R&D team can now research new Grade 7 items such as a non-lethal shotgun. However, these bright spots in the update are bound to be overlooked because of the really unseemly ways that Konami has decided to monetize Metal Gear Solid 5.

Pete Haas

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.