Ford releases a pair of ads for the Ford Focus SE that feature characters from Konami’s Metal Gear Solid franchise, including David Hayter reprising his role as Snake.

With series creator Hideo Kojima having left Konami, the future of the Metal Gear Solid franchise is in question. Konami has retained control of the IP following Kojima’s departure, and despite the company seemingly moving away from traditional game development, it insists that more games in the series will be released in due time. While we wait for the first Kojima-less Metal Gear title in decades, Konami is not letting the IP rest, instead licensing it to Ford for car commercials.

A pair of those commercials were released today. The first sees David Hayter reprising his role as Snake for the first time since Kiefer Sutherland replaced him in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, with Snake having a codec chat with Colonel Campbell about the Ford Focus SE. The second commercial doesn’t have Hayter, but it does show the infamous Psycho Mantis boss fight from Metal Gear Solid on the original PlayStation.

Check out both of the Metal Gear Solid-themed Ford Focus commercials right here:

What’s interesting about the codec commercial is that it makes a direct reference to Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, despite Hayter not playing the role of Snake in that particular game. The reference comes when Campbell and Snake are discussing the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system, which Campbell mentions hasn’t been used since “1984” – the year that Metal Gear Solid 5 happens to take place.

These commercials are goofy, and usually wouldn’t necessarily be a cause for concern. However, fans are already skeptical about Konami’s ability to do anything meaningful with the Metal Gear IP without Kojima. This is due to the company’s multiple blunders from last year, such as cancelling Silent Hills and removing P.T. from the PlayStation Store. These commercials being the first new Metal Gear content following Kojima’s departure does not bode well for the franchise, and will likely only serve to further widen the rift between Konami and Metal Gear fans.

It remains to be seen if fans will even consider a new Metal Gear Solid game without Kojima’s involvement, but it’s a safe bet that many will be irked to see the franchise’s characters reduced to shilling vehicles. Under different circumstances, seeing the Metal Gear Solid characters in a Ford Focus ad would be fun, but with Konami’s reputation as it is right now, this ad campaign was probably ill-advised, and has potential to rub franchise fans the wrong way.

The latest game in the series, Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, is currently available for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Source: GameSpot