He’s best known in the world of games for working with famed auteur Hideo Kojima on the Metal Gear Solid series, but voice actor David Hayter has plans to develop and star in a project of his own.
“I'd love to develop and produce my own games,” he confirmed to Develop. “I'm a big fan of the medium and I'd like to do things.
“I'd love to have a career like [Family Guy and American Dad creator] Seth MacFarlane where he gets to create what he wants to create and he gets to do voices in those pieces. That's a pretty dreamy job.”
Alongside the stealth franchise that made his name, Hayter has worked on triple-A titles including Star Wars: The Old Republic and Dragon Age: Inquisition, as well as smaller indie efforts such as République and The Long Dark.
Asked what type of game he would choose to create himself, Hayter echoed the epic ambitions of Kojima, but added that his own work would likely explore a different genre.
“I really love RPGs; I love creating a world and diving into that world, and exploring that concept of levelling-up, developing your character and getting attached to them,” he enthused.
As for specific influences, he once again drew comparisons with the tastes of his former Metal Gear Solid partner.
“I love the Assassin's Creed games,” Hayter said. “I was just replaying Red Dead Redemption, it's just such a beautiful world and so immersive in a way that movies are not. And long – you can spend 80 to 100 hours in these games and it just becomes a world unto itself. I think that's where I'd really like to be.”
Among Hayter’s upcoming auditory appearances is Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, the Castlevania spiritual successor from Koji Igarashi which raised more than $5.5 million in funding through Kickstarter.
As one of gaming’s most recognisable and beloved voices – a sentiment reinforced by the fan backlash to his controversial replacement by Kiefer Sutherland in Metal Gear Solid V – Hayter would arguably find it easy to find an audience for a crowdfunding campaign for his own idea. Yet, he dismisses the suggestion.
“I've talked to [former Metal Gear Solid producer and République developer] Ryan Payton about partnering up on a game,” he reveals. “Any project is a huge thing to put together, so it takes time and I have to make sure it's the right thing.
“I love Kickstarter and I love the fans, but I sort of prefer to take private equity. I don't like to risk fans' money if I can help it.”
While Hayter is clearly passionate about launching a project in the medium of games in the future, he is currently working on multiple TV and film writing efforts as part of his career in Hollywood (having written the first two X-Men blockbusters, as well as 2009 comic book adaptation Watchmen), as well as roles in other creators’ games, movies and shows. In short: don’t expect anything soon.
“I take it the way it comes,” he says. “I think the world has some idea who I am and what I bring to a project, and that opens certain doors.
“Beyond that, I just try to focus in on stories that I think will affect people and be interesting and cool. Parts that I think I can bring a certain unique fire to are those things that will draw me.
“My overall plan is to just keep producing stories in film, television and games and keep stumbling across amazing opportunities.”