According to a report from fact-checking website Polygraph, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Andrei Kartapolov has claimed that the Metal Gear series is a project of the U.S. Intelligence special services. The exact quote, as translated by Polygraph is as follows: "On the Internet, projects of the American special services, such as … Metal Gear and RuNet Echo, are being implemented, aimed at direct manipulation of public consciousness and especially young people." The original Russian text can be seen on Interfax.ru, posted on June 20.
RuNet Echo, according to its Twitter account, is a "project of Global Voices Online exploring Russian online communities." The official website redirects to a globalvoices.org subdomain, which seems like a standard world news site through the Russian perspective. It's unclear what is the relation between RuNet Echo and Metal Gear, aside from the fact that they are both supposed to be projects of U.S. Intelligence special services.
It's likely that the mention of Metal Gear refers mostly to the main titles of the Metal Gear Solid series, though the games have a history since the original MSX titles Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2. As far as manipulating youth goes, series creator Hideo Kojima is not doing a great job, since criticism of governments seems generalized throughout the entire series. It often opted less to criticize a single government, whether the Russian or U.S. government, in favor of criticizing the whole apparatus and phenomenon of geopolitics, modern states, and war. If the Russian government perceives the games as an attack on their legitimacy or integrity, the U.S. government could make the case that it's downright treasonous to own a game like Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, which involves a plot to use artificial intelligence in mass media.
While you could make the argument that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, set during the Cold War and in Russia, is more overt with its references and criticism of the Soviet Union, it's very obviously an alternate timeline where Soviet supersoldiers exist, where Russia somehow has lush rainforests as part of its territory. To make the leap between that highly fictional universe and the current state of geopolitics and the Russian government is ludicrous.
The fact that Konami and Kojima are Japanese also doesn't seem to factor into the statement, which is likely based on very poor research. Either way, it seems that Kojima is no longer on the U.S. government's payroll, considering that Death Stranding is clearly very critical of them.
What do you think of the whole debacle? Should Kojima be proud of such a nonsensical accusation? Let us know in the comments below!