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Metal Gear Solid wasn't sued over Escape From New York ties because Kojima's 'a nice guy'

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Solid Snake is, quite openly, an homage to Snake Plissken, the protagonist of John Carpenter's Escape From New York. Creator Hideo Kojima has been forthright about the film's influence on his work, and that almost landed him and Konami in court.

Carpenter, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, said one of the rights holders to his 1981 film "wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, too," Carpenter said.

No such legal action was taken. Why? "I know the director of those games, and he's a nice guy," Carpenter told THR. "Or at least he's nice to me."

The question came up as THR asked about Carpenter's copyright infringement lawsuit against Luc Besson over 2012's Lockout, which Carpenter and fellow rightsholder CanalPlus considered a more direct ripoff of Escape From New York. Carpenter and CanalPlus reeived only a modest settlement.

Kojima, of course, is done with Konami after nearly 30 years with the publisher, though Konami insists he's technically on vacation. The last Metal Gear Solid, The Phantom Pain, launched on Sept. 1.

See THR's interview for more from Carpenter, who directed the 1978 slasher classic Halloween. Carpenter also reminisces about the 1987 cult hit They Live, its epic six-minute fight scene, and the film's star, Roddy Piper, who died in July.

Polygon Video: 27 minutes of Metal Gear online play

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