Hideo Kojima was supposed to attend the recently concluded Video Game Awards 2015 show as his latest game Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain won the best action/adventure game award on the show.
However, Geoff Kneighly, the host of the show, made a shocking announcement that Hideo was not allowed to attend the award show and accept the award by Konami Lawyers. In his place, Snake’s voice-actor Kiefer Sutherland accepted the award on his behalf (not on Konami’s as he rightly said).
As Geoff made this announcement, a lot of boos and jeers could be heard from the audience in attendance.
@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN congrats, we miss you my friend!
— Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) December 4, 2015
Here is the full transcript of Geoff said:
“As you noticed,” said Keighley. “Hideo Kojima is not here with us tonight and I want to tell you a little about that. 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. [crowd boos] 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.”
Konami reportedly has a non-compete agreement with Hideo Kojima till the end of December and therefore under legal obligations he might not have been allowed to attend the show.
A Konami representative accepted another Metal Gear Solid 5 award on behalf of him at the Sony PlayStation Awards held in Japan last night.
As we write this report, a lot of outrage and anger is already being shown by fans of Metal Gear franchise and Hideo Kojima worldwide, with the Twitter hastag #f**kkonamii trending.
We think it’s really a bad move on Konami’s part to bar the creator of the series from receiving awards for a project that he worked so hard on.
We’ve reached out to Konami representatives regarding this development but are yet to hear back.
These kind of negative publicity is bound to do more harm to their image than allowing Hideo Kojima to receive awards for games he made. You can be sure of that.