Are there fewer hardcore gamers among the new generation of players? Is that the implication here?
The mobile explosion has been part of the ongoing casual trend in gaming today. More and more people are playing, but perhaps fewer are embracing the AAA cutting-edge productions. Maybe the young'uns are too busy playing smaller bite-size games on their smartphones and tablets.
This is what Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima believes, as evidenced by his statements to GamesTM :
"We've seen a phenomenon around the world. Young people are losing interest in high-end games and focusing on mobile and social titles, especially in Japan."
Kojima added that part of his vision for MGSV is to show people that "high-end games" are still viable. He also wanted to make it plain that big-budget Japanese productions aren't going anywhere. As for the upcoming MGSV, Kojima explained why the game is broken into two parts: The controversial prelude, Ground Zeroes , and the full game, The Phantom Pain :
"I'll be honest, [splitting MGSV up] wasn't necessarily a strategic move," he said. "The Phantom Pain is roughly 200 times bigger than Ground Zeroes. A game that big wouldn't be ready for next-gen launch windows, and we didn't have any Japanese titles that would be available. At that time, the Ground Zeroes portion was almost complete and a lot of fans were asking for a prologue, so that’s the decision we came to. That was the reasoning behind the move."
Do you accept that reasoning? Bear in mind that Kojima is in a difficult position, as he's attempting to prove that Japanese developers still have what it takes to compete on a global scale. As for his comments concerning younger players and their interest in high-end games…I'm afraid he's probably right.