A report from the latest issue of Game Informer pegged Ground Zeroes' campaign at around two hours in length. Kojima explains that the game's breadth of content, which includes a collection of side missions and an online-ranked trial mode, will keep players occupied long enough to justify its $40 retail price point.
"This is not a linear game like the past," the statement reads. "[Ground Zeroes] offers freedom of approach and play style, which we hope players will enjoy over and over without [becoming bored]. I believe people will be satisfied with the 'Play Time' of Ground Zeroes and not stress the 'Clear Time,' which is a standard for linear games."
Kojima Productions' Jordan Amaro backed up Kojima's statement, comparing Ground Zeroes to brief but satisfying indie experiences such as Journey and Dear Esther. "I want people to celebrate the new MGS like we used to," Amaro told GameSpot. "I'm not dismissing their concerns. But this [issue] has been trumped-up."
Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes will launch on March 18 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PS4 and Xbox One.