Update: The official EVO Twitter account has confirmed that the Snake cameo video shown during the Tekken 7 finals was "a little joke." Bandai Namco was not involved with the teaser and there's officially no longer any reason to believe Snake is going to be a downloadable character for Tekken 7.
Original Story: Leading up to the Tekken 7 finals at EVO 2019, a special video showed up on the event's main screen. The video showed the codec from Metal Gear Solid with Snake on the right side of the screen and Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada's image on the left. Then the video turned off. The EVO 2019 audience, already hyped over the tournament's top 8 performances, went wild. Bandai Namco had baited the audience (and the media) into expecting a Metal Gear Solid Snake Tekken 7 roster announcement. But it didn't happen.
Following the Tekken 7 Grand Finals, Harada took to the stage to completely baffle Tekken 7 fans. After making a joke about Street Fighter 5's leaks, Harada walked off stage. He then turned around, teasing another announcement. The announcement, however, was not for Solid Snake. The new trailer confirmed other additions for Tekken 7, including a patch adding new moves to all characters. Fan-favorite Zafina was announced as a Season 3 DLC addition for September, as was the dreadlocks and sunglasses-wearing original character Leroy. Solid Snake was left as a teaser.
The addition of Solid Snake to the Tekken 7 roster, if it proves true, would make him one of the most well-traveled fighters of the modern era. Snake is already a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, returning from his first appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The Metal Gear Solid franchise may not be what it once was, with Hideo Kojima leaving Konami. But Snake will still be available for fans to play as in both Tekken and Super Smash Bros.
The brief teaser was an immediate reminder, and was likely intentionally so, unlike this past week's Street Fighter 5 EVO 2019 announcement that was released too early by Valve. The accidental leak confirmed Honda, Poison, and new character Lucia. Rather than pretend the leak didn't happen, Capcom confirmed the announcement and has been playing the reveal trailer all weekend long. Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono went on-stage at EVO 2019 and apologized, but the audience cheered all the louder.
Snake's tease prior to EVO 2019 Tekken 7 tournament's finals is a perfect example of how exciting and emotional the fighting game scene can be. It didn't matter that the announcement didn't come through at the end. That only served to build up the energy in the building. When Harada eventually officially left the stage without confirming Snake, the audience was all the louder. Leaks, teases, or otherwise, it was impossible not to be excited about more Tekken 7 at EVO 2019.
Tekken 7 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.