Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was one of the big winners at last week’s Game Awards, taking home the prizes for Best Action/Adventure and Best Score/Soundtrack. It also stirred up a bit of controversy when it was discovered that longtime Metal Gear director Hideo Kojima was not on hand to accept his award. Kojima recently left Konami, the publisher of Metal Gear Solid, and host Geoff Keighley later revealed that though Kojima had originally planned to attend, lawyers representing Konami had legally barred him from doing so. The award was instead presented to actor Kiefer Sutherland, who voiced Snake in the sequel.
That’s why we took the opportunity to ask Hayter about the controversy on the red carpet before the Canadian Video Game Awards on Sunday. It turns out that while Hayter is closer to the franchise, he doesn’t know much more about the situation than the rest of us.
“I know some of the players, but I don’t know what the story was with Konami and Kojima,” said Hayter. “It’s a shame that he got frozen out, if that’s true, while his game is getting recognized as being awesome. He always makes awesome games. But I don’t know. I have been in fights with corporations before and they can be ugly and they can be difficult to understand, so I wouldn’t want to speculate.”
A noted fan of the series he helped build, Hayter was similarly diplomatic when asked if it’s strange to see the franchise continue to receive accolades now that he’s no longer involved.
“I think it’s great that they’re celebrating Metal Gear and the game looks amazing. It looks like another leap forward in technology. I don’t begrudge anybody any awards.”
However, he admits that it hasn’t been easy to watch the series move on without him. Though Hayter has famously played all of the MGS games that he’s voiced, he’s broken the streak with Metal Gear Solid V, largely because it would be strange to hear someone else’s voice in that universe.
“I’m not going to play it because it would be too painful to listen to somebody else do Snake,” said Hayter. “I just don’t think that would be much fun.”
On a lighter note, we also asked Hayter about his Dork Shelf, and his answer did not disappoint. As the longtime voice of one of gaming’s most beloved franchises, he has a collection that puts the rest of us to shame. So what’s on David Hayter’s Dork Shelf?
“That implies that I have only one Dork Shelf,” said Hayter. “My entire office is loaded. I have a collection of black and white Batman figurines. I have more Metal Gear toys and dolls and CalorieMates and Shagohods that people have given me over the years than I can count. I have an Iron Man helmet from when I was working on the movie Iron Man. I have a bust of Beast that was put together for the X-Men movies. I have the dorkiest Dork Shelf you could possibly imagine.”