Newer fans may not know, but Snake is very much based off Snake Plissken, the protagonist of John Carpenter’s Escape From New York. It’s something that Kojima has been very open about, and even made a bit of a gag about it in Metal Gear Solid 2 when Snake introduces himself as Iroquois Pliskin to Raiden (Iroquois meaning Snake), as well as a bit on the Codex in Snake Eater.
However according to John Carpenter himself, a shareholder of the 1981 Escape From New York was looking to sue the company, but didn’t as Carpenter advised against it.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Carpenter was talking about many points of his career including CanalPlus suing Luc Besson over Lockout which was a direct rip off of Escape From New York. During this conversation, Metal Gear Solid came up.
“[CanalPlus] wanted to also go after the video game Metal Gear Solid, which is kind of a rip-off of Escape From New York, too, but I told them not to do that.”
As much as we would want to dispute that, they have some leverage since their connections are well known facts at this stage, but why did Carpenter not want to go there? Well, fairly simple really. “I know the director of those games, and he’s a nice guy, or at least he’s nice to me.”
So kids. As you can see it pays, or at least helps avoid arduous courtcases, to be nice.