Metal Gear Solid V: There is No Snake Without David Hayter Part 1

Kojima Productions makes a huge mistake by showing no love for the Hayter.

Metal Gear has changed. It’s no longer about the voice acting, the fans, or the Snakes. It’s an endless series of sad feelings, fought between Hayter lovers and Kojima fans… you get the gist.

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It was recently reported that David Hayter would not return to voice Big Boss in the new Metal Gear Solid games. While this in and of itself is alarming, one would assume that this was a decision Hayter himself made since Hideo Kojima and Konami would be angering the series’ fans way too much by making such a decision of their own accord. Yet, that is exactly what happened.

David Hayter composed a well written response to his fans filling them in on his situation yesterday. Although it was April Fools Day, the tone of the letter seems too sincere and emotional to be a ruse.

In his writeup, he informs his fans that he wasn’t involved in the production process at all. He didn’t even find out he wasn’t needed until he called in and scheduled lunch with one of the producers.

He goes on to talk about how much he loves voice acting for the MGS series and that if it were up to him, he would continue voicing Snake forever. He even goes so far as to say that the thought of someone else’s voice coming out of the character makes him feel a bit ill.

Not only has Hayter talked about his love of voicing Snake, he was the person who persuaded Konami to bring back the original voice acting cast to rerecord the dialogue for Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes on the GameCube. He goes above and beyond the call of the average voice actor.

Hayter has even gotten into the role of Snake for a video game awards show. If this doesn’t show that the man loves his role than what does?

Why Hate the Hayter?

So, given Hayter’s role as both Solid Snake and Naked Snake/Big Boss in all of the games (except Big Boss in MGS4), why would Hideo Kojima and/or Konami find a replacement for Snake?

According to Technobuffalo, Kojima said this of his decision:

“What we’re trying to accomplish here is [to] recreate the Metal Gear series. It’s a new type of Metal Gear game and we want to have this reflected in the voice actor as well.

Okay, that could be a somewhat respectable answer if it weren’t for a few things.

Akio Ōtsuka will once again provide the voice of Snake in the Japanese dub of the game. If Hideo Kojima were truly needed to have the new story mirrored in a new voice acting cast, why would he continue hiring the same person in the Japanese version?

The second reason this excuse is flawed is because if Hideo Kojima really wanted to reinvent the Metal Gear series, he would write completely new characters.

The third and main reason why this answer does not help in curing the frustration and disappointment is this: no one talked to Hayter about this. He had to find out himself. Can you imagine how crushing that must be?

You’ve been performing the role you were meant to play for just about fifteen years. You’ve spent so much time and effort perfecting the voice, contributing just as much to the character as the writer does, if not more. Then you find out they’re making a new installment and have not informed you. You call to find out why not and are told it’s because you aren’t needed.

I cannot imagine how big of a slap in the face that was to David Hayter. Shame on you, Hideo Kojima. Shame on you, Konami.

I do not know if Hideo Kojima and David Hayter ever really spoke with each other. I do not know if David and anyone who was working on the current staff of the game were very close with each other. Regardless of that, if anyone involved had any shred of respect for the hard work Hayter put into his character, they would have informed him of their reasons for doing so ahead of time instead of leaving him to find out through the news.

This just reflects poorly on the company and Hideo Kojima personally. Considering Kojima’s lukewarm excuse doesn’t hold over very well, he should hone up to the real reason why Hayter was not chosen for this Metal Gear installment or at the very least apologize for how it was handled.

Continued in Part 2


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Author
Joseph Rowe
World traveling English teacher, writer, and aspiring front-end developer.