By Stan Rezaee
The Game Awards 2015 was supposed to have been a night to honor the greatest accomplishments in the industry, but instead became another battleground in Konami’s dispute with Hideo Kojima.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain won the award for Best Action Game, but Kojima was not present to accept it. Instead, Kiefer Sutherland, who played as Big Boss / Punished Snake, was present to accept the award on his behalf.
After Sutherland received the award, Geoff Keighley appeared on stage to announce Kojima was supposed to attend the event but at the last minute, a lawyer from Konami had told him he was not allowed to attend. He told the audience 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.
Following the announcement, the audience started booing and denouncing Konami. Gamers along with many in the industry were also quick to condemn Konami for barring Kojima from attending the event.
Meanwhile, Kojima response to winning the award was a simple, “Thank you very much” on Twitter.
Konami’s attempt to deny Kojima from accepting his award is part of the ongoing breakdown between the two since early 2015. News of the breakdown in the relationship became public when Kojima Studios was removed from all promotional material for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Next came the controversial decision to cancel Silent Hills, the planed reboot of the iconic series that was being developed by Kojima alongside Guillermo del Toro and Junji Ito.
Even more controversy erupted following a controversial article from the business journal, Nikkei, which uncovered deplorable working conditions and a culture of mistrust at Konami.
Despite all that has happened, Hideo Kojima has remained silent on the matter and has not allowed the feued to disrupt development of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain..
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is the tenth game in the series and was universally praised as one of the best games for the Next-Gen consoles. Currently it has been nominated for many “Game of the Year” awards from gaming publications and industry groups.