Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, the prologue to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, is expected to launch next spring, but don't take that to mean Kojima Productions is close to completing development on the main game.
In an interview with Famitsu, series creator Hideo Kojima discussed the nature of Ground Zeroes, explaining why it will be releasing so much earlier than The Phantom Pain.
If I were to put it in Hollywood movie terms, the prologue, that is Ground Zeroes, would be similar to the first 10-15 minutes that are meant to ‘captivate’ [the audience].
At first, something will happen, then the title will appear like ‘bam!’ and then nine years later, a big event will be the start [of Metal Gear Solid V]. That’s how the story will be connected. As far as the game itself goes, The Phantom Pain will take place in an immense open world map, while Ground Zeroes takes place in a smaller open world.
It would’ve actually been better to release it all at once, but by the way things are going, it appears likely that Phantom Pain will be coming out around the time the PlayStation 4 becomes more spread out. That means we would’ve had to make people wait a while longer.
Sadly, it looks like MGS fans will still have quite a bit of waiting to do before Metal Gear Solid V proper is finally made available, but at least we'll have Ground Zeroes to whet our appetite, right?