David Hayter is voice acting royalty for a whole lot of gamers. The man who voiced Solid Snake in the 1998 classic Metal Gear Solid, and a multitude of games since. For many people, Hayter is Solid Snake, and the two cannot be easily separated. During a recent EVO event, while the Tekken 7 grand finals were underway, a message flashed on the screen at the event of Snake commenting on some “good ass Tekken.” While it was not part of the live broadcast, plenty of people in the crowd caught footage of it. Then, as will happen, the questions started.
What EVO has stated was supposed to be a little joke flew out of control instantly as people started wondering if Solid Snake would be showing up in Tekken 7 in the future. To answer to that is no. EVO didn’t ask anybody if it was okay to use Solid Snake in that way, and Hayter is not impressed.
You also failed to consult me, or Konami. Please do not use my voice to promote other games. Ever.
— David Hayter (@DavidBHayter) August 5, 2019
I can correctly understand why Hayter is so put out by what happened. Not only does it lead to awkward moments where he is forced to answer questions he had no idea were going to come his way, but as a voice actor, his voice is his product. He has spent a career developing a character carefully, putting in countless hours of work to make gamers fall in love with not just the character, but his struggles and the world he inhabits.
It is a little hard to believe that nobody at EVO, one of the premier esports organizations in the world, didn’t see this coming. There is a lot of mutual respect in the gaming and esports industry; often, we see things happening based on that mutual respect. From Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster to characters like Geralt the Witcher series showing up in Monster Hunter World, it all happens because the people who make these games are inspired by, and respect, each other.
It also undercuts the effectiveness of any reveals that happen at EVO in the future, which is a shame. While it might feel like a storm in a teacup, things like this do have a lasting impression on the companies and individuals behind the games we all play.