The Ninjabot

David Hayter Not Voicing Big Boss in MGSV

Posted on April 2, 2013 at 9:00 am by Stephen Janes

Famed game director Hideo Kojima has finally shed some light on his latest project, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (hereby titled MGSV) last week at GDC. While the idea of MGSV wasn’t shocking, we were treated to a few unexpected surprises during the reveal; an elder Big Boss, the debut of the FOX Engine, no David Hayter, a physically cripple-wait what?

After noticing the lack of rasp in Big Boss’ voice, many people took straight to twitter to ask David Hayter, the voice actor of Solid Snake (Old Snake) and Naked Snake (Big Boss) since 1998, if he was returning in MGSV. The answer was more shocking than Psycho Mantis reading your memory card.

“Nope,” replied Hayter on twitter to a fan.

If you’re not a fan of the Metal Gear Solid franchise, you probably don’t understand why this is such big news. David Hayter has always been the voice of Snake and has helped define his character into a legend off-screen. One of the first things that come to mind when I think of MGS is that iconic voice of Solid Snake. The voice is as recognizable as Mario’s ‘jump’ sound effect or the phrase, “It’s dangerous to go alone” to Legend of Zelda fans. What’s even more confusing is the circumstances surrounding Hayter’s involvement, or lack thereof, in MGSV.


Big Boss as seen in the trailer for MGSV.

According to Hayter himself, he wasn’t even approached to voice Snake in the new game. This decision was made by series creator and director Hideo Kojima, who stated he’s looking to take the series in a different direction and wanted to try something different and fresh. I’ve learned in the past not to question the almighty Kojima, and he is hands down my favorite game director, but I didn’t think twice to question his tactics here. Removing the iconic voice of an iconic character? Did I wake up in the wrong cardboard box?

I tend to go back-and-forth in terms of dealing with this. On one hand, Big Boss is visibly older in this game, meaning his voice should be a tad different. While Hayter did a great job as Old Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, older Big Boss was voiced by Richard Doyle in the same game. You’d think that Doyle would return to voice Snake in MGSV, but this has yet to be confirmed. We haven’t really heard Snake’s voice in any of the english trailers, so we can only speculate at this point. Rumors are also suggesting that somebody different will be voicing Snake, so who knows.

On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine a MGS game without David Hayter. Imagine if Optimus Prime wasn’t played by Peter Cullen in a future Transformers project, or if Jon St. John was replaced as the voice of Duke Nukem. Those voice actors have established themselves and define their characters in the same way Hayter defines Snake. Keep in mind, MGSV is set to take place between the 1970s and the 1980s, so it wouldn’t be unfathomable to have Hayter continue his work.  Regardless, Kojima stated he wanted to shake things up a bit and did. Now he’s got the gaming populous talking.

Big Boss and Miller

I’m sure David Hayter is feeling worse than this right about now.

I’ve already stated my affection for David Hayter and his work. I’m disappointed knowing I won’t hear his voice as Snake and fear this will carry out further than just MGSV. I’m still absolutely buying MGSV when it comes out (whenever that is) and I’m sure it will be another masterpiece from Kojima and Konami. Some day, I’d love for Kojima to come out and make things right with Hayter somehow, even if it’s just an apology or a face-to-face session to discuss the reasons behind all of this. Many people, myself included, still want Hayter to be involved in some capacity and I hope the door hasn’t been completely shut between the two. I do know that Hayter was originally supposed to be involved with the Metal Gear Solid movie adaption, so hopefully that opportunity is still available.

A number of fans, whether it’s reluctance, bliss or true thought, believe this is just a troll move by Kojima to get some hype for MGSV. There was an article written that talks about some “trolling” elements in this and firmly believe that David Hayter will still have a role in MGSV. I’m not one hundred percent invested in the theories, but they are interesting to say the least. The glaring mistake in the article is that Hayter’s comment about not returning to MGSV came well before April Fools Day, so it’s hard to really invest in the writer’s idea, but otherwise he makes some interesting points. I would certainly love to believe this is all a hoax, but we can’t be too certain.

What do you Geeks think about this situation? Are you upset with Hideo Kojima’s decision to not include David Hayter? I’m certain most of you are, but how about the way Kojima broke the news by not saying anything? Are you OK with the fresh direction the franchise is taking or do you want to see the iconic voice actor return to the sneaking suit and eye patch? Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain still looks to be a fantastic title, regardless.

Stephen Janes_Geek Legacy Avatar


    • Yeah this is a pretty big deal for me to say the least. I was pretty sad last week when I watched the trailer and didn't get to hear him say "Metal Gear." In fact, whenever I play a Metal Gear title the first thing my wife does when she walks in the room is try to say "Metal Gear" just like Hayter. He's a staple in the franchise and his absence will leave a big hole in my heart.

    • I still can't wrap my mind around why Kojima just didn't say anything to begin with. At least explain to Hayter the direction you want to go in, and why he won't be returning for this. I just do hope this doesn't mean Hayter will not be involved in any potential future MGS project.

    • David

      Kojima is a diva. Don't get me wrong, he's immensely talented, but has made it clear over the years that its his way or the highway. Hayter and he probably had a disagreement and Kojima told him to pound sand. Especially since Hayter is almost as synonymous to metal gear as Kojima.

    • No, I think Kojima just has a very specific mindset of what he wants his project to be. Remember, he completely canned MGS Rising Revengance because he didn't like where the story was headed in the canon-MGS storyline, but he still had great assets for a game. David Hayter loves this franchise and would do anything to see it succeed, evident by him using his own income to hire the voice talents to re-record for the Twin Snakes remake.

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