An interview in the latest issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly reveals why the familiar theme went missing in Konami's latest Metal Gear Solid offering.
As reported by Gamasutra, series composer Norihiko Hibino said Konami found it would be best to leave it out to avoid any potential legal trouble down the road. Accusations of theft were thrown about when the main MGS theme was compared to music written by Russian composer Georgy Sviridov from the 1970's.
"The truth is, Konami [had legal problems with] Russian composers who said we stole their music," Hibino told EGM. They didn't [steal their music], actually. But Konami was too sensitive about the situation and just decided not to use that music in the game."
It should be noted that Tappi Iwase, not Harry Gregson-Williams, composed the original Metal Gear Solid theme from 1998. You can see a video from a year ago of Hideo Kojima being shown the song in question here.
No, this isn't as exciting as, say, Yasunori Mitsuda never hearing of Rick Astley, but it still raises all sorts of questions regarding potential music theft in video games.