Something unusual happened at the Game Awards last night. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain won an award for best action adventure game but series creator Hideo Kojima was no where to be found. Accepting the award in his absence was Kiefer Sutherland, who voiced Snake.
That’s not the part that was unexpected. It’s been known for a while now that Kojima had a falling out with Konami. The company went so far as stripping the creator’s name from the game. The real surprise came when Game Award’s host and veteran game journalist Geoff Keighley revealed why Kojima wasn’t present.
“As you noticed, Hideo Kojima is not here with us tonight and I want to tell you a little about that,” Keighley told the audience. “Mr. Kojima had every intention of being with us tonight, but unfortunately he was informed by a lawyer representing Konami just recently that he would not be allowed to travel to tonight’s awards ceremony to accept any awards. He’s still under an employment contract. And it’s disappointing and it’s inconceivable to me that an artist like Hideo would not be allowed to come here and celebrate with his peers and his fellow teammates.”
The candor on the part of Keighley — who looked uneasy revealing the news, but compelled as a journalist — and the angry reaction from the crowd, is an unexpected moment in an awards ceremony setting that is usually overly scripted and rehearsed.
The public doesn’t have the full story of what exactly is going on at Konami but denying Kojima — a long-time industry veteran and creative powerhouse — a place on the stage to accept an award for the franchise that he nurtured for most of his career comes across as extremely vindictive and petty.
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