David Hayter Discusses His Lack of MGS 5 Involvement

david hayter

Last week, we finally started getting some solid (haha) details on Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, as well as its prologue, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. One of those details was that the voice actor who’d portrayed Snake since the first Metal Gear Solid for the original PlayStation back in 1998, David Hayter, would not be returning. So while we know that he’s not coming back, the mystery of why still remains—even to Hayter himself.

The actor/writer/director posted a long-Tweet yesterday to explain how everything went down from his point of view. After learning that recording sessions on MGS 5 had begun, he called someone involved in the game’s production:

“We got togerther for lunch, and he told me that they ‘wouldn’t be needing me’ on this game. No reason, or explanation was given beyond that.

And that was it.”

As unceremonious as that was, Hayter takes time in his post to reflect on his work on the games and his time spent helping to craft the identity of one of gaming’s most iconic and memorable characters:

“To be clear, I love being a part of the world of Metal Gear. I admire its technological innovations, the gameplay, the political message of it all. But primarily, I love the fans of these games. Two grown men burst into tears upon meeting me at the Vancouver Fan Expo last year.

Now that… Is a rare and excellent role. You know you’re making an impact.

And I love doing it.

In 1998, I tried to do come up with a voice which epitomized the kind of worn, put-upon, genetically-engineered clone-soldier that I saw Snake to be. Over time, as the games became more stunning and visually sophisticated, I tried to transition that initial voice into the increasingly real environments in which Snake found himself. My level of success is up to you, but any perceived deficiencies were not for lack of hard work. I have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort into creating a compelling character, capable of expressing the myriad emotional, physical and psychological hurdles that Snake has to face.

Anyway, now it’s been fifteen years, nine games, and an enormous blast to undertake.”

We may never know the full truth behind why Hideo Kojima and his team wanted to move on from having Hayter portray Snake. It may be as simple as the half-explanation he gave last week—that this is a new kind of game, so he wanted a new kind of Snake. Either way, it’s sad to see someone who defined a role in such an important way get the boot with no real discussion or understanding of why. If it helps, the fans are right there with you, and we’re all sorry to see you go.

[Via Twitter]

  1. It could be bogus though, remember when David Bateson said he won’t voice 47 in the games or Quintonn Flynn on Raiden in Reveangence. Well look at what happened. And yes I know of Sam Fisher and Micheal Ironside being not together. But I’m going to hold my breath on this one.

  2. He will still be in the game, this is all a big ruse. Just look at some of the lyrics for the Garbage song in the trailer
    “We are not your kind of people.
    You seem kind of phoney.
    Everything’s a lie.” Also you never hear any shots of snake speaking, I believe that telling us yes hayter is in it but not voicing all snakes involved would give away story details so they just tell us he’s out. Furthermore they would not take the man that truly MADE the character come to life and just toss him out so harshly without reason. I smell bullshit

    • I honestly never thought about whether or not this could be a trick. Now that you mention it, I can certainly SEE Kojima and crew screwing with fans like this…that said, I also wonder what the point of that would be. I remain hopeful that you’re right…but skeptical.

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