Work on an unsanctioned Metal Gear Solid remake called the Shadow Moses Project ceased last month rather suddenly, presumably due to a cease and desist letter from Metal Gear owner Konami. The team behind that project has something new to show off, though, and hopes it falls a bit further outside of legally actionable grounds.
The team announced this week The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid, a virtual reality museum devoted to the series. The project “will feature many pieces of amazing fan art from devoted lovers of the series and our collaborators,” the team said in their announcement.
Interestingly, the team says that the original voice of Solid Snake, David Hayter, will be involved with the project.
Remaking owned works can be difficult, and those remaking them usually don’t have the money to defend their projects in court, even if they were legal. A project like this, though, isn’t an obvious lift of Konami’s material. It uses it as a basis and transforms it with other art and, thanks to Hayter, narration.
Konami could conceivably shut this down as well, but there’s much less draw to do so, as it wouldn’t get the way of any kind of (unannounced and likely unplanned) Metal Gear Solid remake.
For the reasons above, it seems unlikely that Hayter will be doing any voice work that could be construed as being the voice of Solid Snake himself. At most, we could get some cheeky references to lines, but a direct quote by the actor could get the actor and developer both back into hot water.
This is also a creative way to let the team use any environments they’d already built from the series without letting the player do any of the things Snake would be doing in them.
Hayter provided the voice of Snake from the first Metal Gear game to use the Solid moniker, up through 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. He was replaced by Kiefer Sutherland in the last two games, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain, and was almost replaced by Kurt Russell even earlier on. The actor has said he has no love for series director Hideo Kojima or for Konami, but it’s clear he still loves the character and series and appreciates his fans.
Again, Konami could still take action, but this is a much more constructive way for the team to approach their love of the series. The phrasing of the title also suggests that they could make a series of it, doing other titles under The Fan Legacy name. Assuming no such legal action occurs, The Fan Legacy: Metal Gear Solid will release as a free download in May.