I’m beginning to wonder if all this talk from Kojima about David Hayter not voicing Big Boss is just another elaborate setup just to hype up MGSV even more. Based on the whole Moby Dick Studios and Joakim Mogren trickery, things are starting to smell fishy.
First let’s go back to the famous MGS2 bait and switch of 2002. During the announcement of Sons Of Liberty, fans of the franchise were led to believe that they’d be playing as the Legendary Hero, Solid Snake. The trailers didn’t leave any clues behind as to anything otherwise. When the game was finally released players were able to play as Solid for the first section, Tanker Chapter. As they went deeper into the game they were then greeted with a VR trained rookie impersonating Solid who they got stuck with for the duration of the game. His name was Raiden. He most definitely was not Snake. Fans went into an uproar rioting in the streets and looking villages. Ok that didn’t really happen. But they got really angry. Especially at the director himself, Mr. Kohima. So you see folks, things like this are not uncommon in the world of MGS.
Other low key bait and switches include playing as Naked Snake, Solid Snake’s father, or original Legendary Soldier from 1964. In MGS4 players were finally able to play Solid again but this time around he was an aging old man due to accelerated aging from his cloned genes, for he is and always has been Naked Snake’s clone.
Fans became apprehensive about the MGS series yet still retained their desire for more games by Kojima. And with that fan base came the love and adoration for Solid Snake and naked Snake’s voice actor in David Hayter. To date, Hayter has voiced both main protagonists of the series up to the last main cannon game, MGS Peace Walker.
Now with the announcement of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (MGSV) has been met with both excitement and criticism at the same time. As mentioned before, Kojima likes to misdirect people about the games he is directing, namely to garner more excitement and hype for the game itself. Excitement that it’ll be the newest game in the series starring Big Boss (Naked Snake) and will further the storyline, not to mention superb visuals and storytelling. Criticism because of the unprecedented elaborate ruse played out by HK for the blatant lie that he had nothing to do with The Phantom Pain and its director, Joakim Mogren. Fans could smell the deceit but had to wait for confirmation and were finally vindicated.
But the shenanigans continue. Shortly after MGSV was announced, Kojima also expressed that David Hayter, although crucial to fans of the series for his top notch VA skills, will not return to reprise his role as Big Boss. To many long time fans this was a huge letdown. Even DH himself expressed on twitter to his fans a few days ago:
Hey listen. At least I had a good run.
Myself being a big MGS fan I also felt the blow. And then today, April 1st he posts what seems to be a ‘heartfelt’ letter to his fans on twitter:
METAL GEAR V
Here’s a recap of events:
I have been up in Toronto, for the past eight months, directing my first film, (WOLVES — 2013, TF1/COPPERHEART). On the December break, I came home to Los Angeles for the holidays. I heard then, that recording sessions for MG:V were being put together.
But I didn’t hear anything about whether I’d be needed or not.
So, I got in touch with someone involved in the production. We got together for lunch, and he told me that they “wouldn’t be needing me” on this game. No reason, or explanation was given beyond that.
And that was it.
I drove home through Laurel Canyon, bummed, and thinking about Snake.
To be clear, I love being a part of the world of Metal Gear. I admire its technological innovations, the gameplay, the political message of it all. But primarily, I love the fans of these games. Two grown men burst into tears upon meeting me at the Vancouver Fan Expo last year.
Now that… Is a rare and excellent role. You know you’re making an impact.
And I love doing it.
In 1998, I tried to do come up with a voice which epitomized the kind of worn, put-upon, genetically-engineered clone-soldier that I saw Snake to be. Over time, as the games became more stunning and visually sophisticated, I tried to transition that initial voice into the increasingly real environments in which Snake found himself. My level of success is up to you, but any perceived deficiencies were not for lack of hard work. I have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into creating a compelling character, capable of expressing the myriad emotional, physical and psychological hurdles that Snake has to face.
Anyway, now it’s been fifteen years, nine games, and an enormous blast to undertake.
If it were my choice, I would do this role forever. To hear anyone else’s voice coming from Snake’s battered throat, makes me a little ill, to be honest.
But the truth is — it’s not my choice. Any and all casting decisions are the sole purview of Hideo Kojima, and Konami itself. And that’s fair.
And I’ll get by. I am not lacking for employment on any level.
But I didn’t want anybody to think that I was intentionally abandoning them.
And know that I will miss this job, and this character, very much.
My best wishes to you all,
April 1, 2013
Kojima also dropped this little nugget today:
Was thinking about doing some funny fake news on April Fool’s Day but prep for RISING launch and GDC kept me too busy to plan anything. Very sad but in another word, creation is in some sense, telling a lie which makes you feel good. So I guess no need to rush myself and tell a lie just today.
I don’t know about anyone else but the fact that both these twitter posts landed on the same day, April 1st, has gotta say something to MGS fans about the lengths that Kojima will go to for his games. I’m sure we’ll learn more as time permits.