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Konami releases David Hayter-fronted video series about Metal Gear’s incredible legacy, doesn’t mention Metal Gear creator, director, and writer Hideo Kojima once

Konami has released the first video in what it’s calling the Metal Gear Solid Legacy Series, companion videos to Metal Gear Solid: The Master Collection that offer a shorthand history lesson of the games’ extensive lore. The opening video is six minutes long and presented by David Hayter, the voice actor of Solid Snake and Big Boss in Metal Gear Solids 1-4, and in its script does not mention Hideo Kojima once.

We’ll get into why in a moment, but even for Konami this is absurd. Hideo Kojima took over an existing Konami project for the MSX2 in 1987 and, realising the machine’s capabilities limited what could be shown on-screen, hit upon the idea of a game where avoiding conflict was the goal (for the most part). The first two top-down games have nowhere near the sophistication of what was to come, but they do have an abundance of ideas (the cardboard box, smoking, guided missiles, varied patrol routes, codecs) that remained at the heart of the series.

To be clear, these games were, by the end, created by teams of hundreds of people, and Kojima does not deserve sole credit. But he is undeniably the presiding spirit and key creative force behind Metal Gear. Kojima created the series and then co-wrote, designed and directed every single subsequent mainline entry, until his acrimonious departure from Konami after the release of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

The truth of just what went down between the Japanese publisher and its star man has yet to be fully told (and may never come out), though Kojima stage-managed his exit in a way that led to enormous opprobrium aimed at Konami, with many believing he was shoddily treated towards the end of his time there. Whatever did happen, the outcome was that Konami lost its greatest talent, had its reputation badly tainted, and ever since has acted like Kojima doesn’t exist.

Hayter had his difficulties with Kojima, too, and has been clear that he didn’t appreciate being unceremoniously dropped for Kojima’s final two games (Kiefer Sutherland took on the role of Big Boss in MGS: Ground Zeroes and MGS V: TPP). But I doubt this has anything to do with him: Hayter’s a writer as well as an actor, but the video script is uncredited and, knowing how Konami tends to operate, I’d guess it’s been subject to endless approvals and revisions from Tokyo.

Elephant in the room aside, the video is a decent short overview of the Metal Gear series. There’s nothing in it fans don’t already know, but it’s not really for us so much as the Snake-curious who are yet to try the series (though I’m not sure getting into the weeds of which Snake is which is the way to attract new players).

“The game found millions of fans worldwide,” says Hayter of Metal Gear Solid’s release in 1997. “The sequels received equally widespread acclaim, ultimately growing into a franchise that has reshaped the gaming world and remained relevant for decades.”

Whenever it gets near the game’s development, however, the script simply veers away from naming anyone involved in the series’ creation. “It stands on its own as one of the most fun, richly layered and brilliantly written video game series of all time,” says Hayter, later adding that “the developers knew that even serious games had to be fun. And they delivered.”

It feels a bit awkward to say the least, and you can’t really pin any of it on Hayter. In fact he’s the best thing about the video for existing fans, because he occasionally transitions from his normal delivery into the gruff Snake voice and, y’know, I’m a sucker for that stuff.

Kojima has moved on from Metal Gear to great success, and his studio has several games under development. As for Konami… I do think it got rather a raw deal from Kojima, but stuff like this just drives home how the series has struggled to move on since his departure. Incredibly enough, Metal Gear remains Konami’s best-selling series, but the future for it seems to lie in re-releases and the Metal Gear Solid 3 remake. If the publisher can’t make peace with the past, it’s hard to see how it will ever stride boldly into the future.

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