Translating a conference call from Japan this week, analyst David Gibson reports that Konami's Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain could launch as late as December 2015 or as early as October 2014, depending on how development progresses over the coming months.

Konami is currently focused on launching The Phantom Pain's prologue episode, Ground Zeroes, in March.

Konami released its consolidated financial results for the first nine months of its 2013 fiscal year, revealing a 2.6 percent drop in net revenue compared with its earnings during the same period in 2012. Year-on-year losses in Konami's Digital Entertainment and Health and Fitness divisions are buoyed by gains in its casino and pachinko businesses.

The company additionally notes a shift in consumer preference, resulting in lowered social game earnings and an increase in demand for native game apps, which take comparatively longer to develop. The majority of Konami's remaining console software lineup this quarter is slated to debut exclusively in Japan, with only Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 and Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes scheduled for worldwide releases.
[Image: Konami]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.