Solid Snake may be returning in both the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and its standalone prequel Ground Zeroes, but it won’t be Snake as we know it.
That’s because David Hayter – the man made famous for voicing the gravelly-toned stealth specialist – hasn’t be asked to return for either of the new games.
“I heard that recording sessions for MG:V were being put together… but I didn’t hear anything about whether I’d be needed or not… so I got in touch with someone involved in the production,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We got together 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.
“If it were my choice, I would do this role forever. To hear anyone else’s voice coming from Snake’s battered throat, makes me a little ill, to be honest. But the truth is – it’s not my choice. Any and all casting decisions are the sole purview of Hideo Kojima, and Konami itself. And that’s fair.
“And I’ll get by. I am not lacking for employment on any level. But I didn’t want anybody to think that I was intentionally abandoning them. And know that I will miss this job, and this character, very much.”
Fans of the series have reacted with hostility to the news, setting up a token online petition and bombarding the Twitter feed of creator Hideo Kojima.