Thursday night's The Game Awards ceremony included two awards given to Konami for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and one of those was accepted by voice actor Kiefer Sutherland on series creator Hideo Kojima's behalf. Viewers might have assumed Kojima didn't attend the show because of international travel to Los Angeles, or because of sour grapes over things like having his name removed from the game's box, but host Geoff Keighley went to unusual lengths to explain exactly why Kojima wasn't in the house—and to shame Konami in the process.
"Mr. Kojima had every intention of being here 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," Keighley told the award ceremony's crowd. They responded with boos as Keighley continued: "He's still under an employment contract, and it's disappointing. It's inconceivable to me that an artist like Hideo would not be allowed to come here and celebrate with his peers, his fellow teammates, for such an incredible game as MGS 5. That's the situation we're in."
At that point, Keighley said that Kojima was watching the awards from his home in Tokyo and, as a result, the ceremony had "put together a surprise" for the game maker—a performance of a song from MGS V's soundtrack by its original singer, Stephanie Jooston. "We wanted you to know, Hideo, that we're thinking of you. We miss you, and we hope to see you at the Game Awards 2016," Keighley added.