Metal Gear (メタルギア Metaru Gia?) is a series of stealth video games created by Hideo Kojima and developed and published by Konami. The first game, Metal Gear, was released in 1987 for the MSX2. The player takes control of a special forces operative Solid Snake who is assigned to find the eponymous superweapon "Metal Gear", a bipedal walking tank with the ability to launch nuclear weapons. Several sequels have been released for multiple consoles after requests from Konami to produce new Metal Gear games. The sequels expand the original game's plot adding new characters opposing and supporting Snake, while there have also been a few prequels exploring the origins of the Metal Gear and recurring characters. Various parts were inspired by Hollywood films with character's names, settings and artworks often referencing them.
The series is famous for pioneering the stealth game genre, in which the character initially has only one weapon and has to go through the game to accomplish his mission by himself. Other notable traits are cinematic cut scenes, intricate storylines, offbeat humor and exploration of political and philosophical themes. The game franchise has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, with individual installments being critically acclaimed and receiving several awards. The franchise has also been adapted into other media such as comics and drama CDs.
A new spinoff of the series Metal Gear Solid:Rising-Lighting Bolt Action is set to be announced at the Spike 2011 Video Game Awards.