Over 15 years and nine games, David Hayter has been the voice of Snake. His gravelly voice has come to define Metal Gear Solid. When Kojima Productions debuted Metal Gear Solid 5, many fans were surprised (nay, upset) to discover that Hayter would not return for the upcoming game. However, perhaps no one was more surprised than Hayter himself.
"If it were my choice, I would do this role forever," he said. "To hear anyone else's voice coming from Snake's battered throat, makes me a little ill, to be honest."
According to Hayter, he found out about MGS5 not from Konami, but someone else involved with the production. He got in touch with the studio, and was told that he wouldn't be needed for the game. "No reason, or explanation was given beyond that," he said on Twitter (via Gamespot). "And that was it."
Following MGS5's reveal, Kojima said that Hayter wasn't cast as Snake because "it's a new type of Metal Gear game, and we want to have this reflected in the voice actor as well." However, given the elaborate ruse surrounding the game's announcement, many are still hoping that Snake's new voice actor is also a prank.
"The truth is--it's not my choice," Hayter said. "Any and all casting decisions are the sole purview of Hideo Kojima, and Konami itself. And that's fair."
"But I didn't want anybody to think that I was intentionally abandoning them," he added. "And know that I will miss this job, and this character, very much."