The Game Awards 2015, the Geoff Keighley produced industry awards show, was on last night. If you watched, you may have seen one of the most incredible spectacles that has occurred in a videogame promotion, but it wasn’t anything planned. Double Fine announcing the start of funding for Psychonauts 2 was a long-rumored reveal. CD Projekt RED taking home awards for Best Developer, Best RPG, and Game of the Year for The Witcher 3 was predictable. Even the news that Telltale was making a Batman game with Warner Bros. as well as a three-part series for The Walking Dead: Michonne was just okay. Rocket League finally coming to Xbox One was long overdue. Shadow Complex: Remastered being a free download on PC was a pleasant surprise. An extended preview of Rock Band VR by Harmonix and Oculus including an on-stage boost by Palmer Luckey was endearingly awkward. Repeated segments with back stage guests talking about Star Wars Battlefront were clumsy and annoying. The show as scripted was the usual collection of marketing and fluff. Mostly harmless.
If that’s all there had been to the show, you could easily dismiss it for its obvious commercial ties. Luckily, there was something better than the trailers, announcements, or thank you speeches. The big event was this amazing moment. After awarding Best Action/Adventure Game to Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and letting Kiefer Sutherland accept the honor in designer Hideo Kojima’s place, host Geoff Keighley took a few moments to publicly chastise publisher Konami.
“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 award ceremony to accept any awards. He’s still under an employment contract. 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.”
This was followed with a live performance of “Quiet’s Theme” sung by Stefanie Joosten, the voice actor for the character in the game. The falling out between Konami and Hideo Kojima began shortly after the announcement of the now cancelled Silent Hills, and culminated in the studio head’s apparent dismissal and muzzling despite the publisher saying he is “on extended vacation.” Konami has declined to comment on The Game Awards 2015 dust-up.