The man who was Metal Gear Solid’s Snake for 10 years, David Hayter, hasn’t played either of the most recent games in the series – after he was dropped from the title role.
Hayter hasn’t played MGS5 or precursor Ground Zeroes, and he explained his reasoning thusly on the Game Informer podcast:
“I was so annoyed by the Metal Gear 5 debacle, and people said, 'are you gonna play the game?' Yeah. That'll be 60 hours of humiliation that I can't get to. I haven't played the latest two iterations because it's just too painful.”
Hayter said he found out he wouldn’t be employed for The Phantom Pain after asking about it during a chance meeting with casting and voice director of the game, Kris Zimmerman. Hayter explained: “She said, 'We're going forward, but it looks like they are going to try and replace you'. They tried to do that before, and it never worked.”
Said attempts at replacement happened in Metal Gear Solid 3, where Kojima offered the role of Snake to Kurt Russell, who declined. Kojima also required Hayter to re-audition for the role of Old Snake in Metal Gear Solid 4. Seems his role has never been nailed down.
“I've got no particular love for Kojima,” Hayter threw out there, “I don't feel any need to go back and work with him again.”
In total ‘this is my opinion as an aside’ fashion, I don’t find it too surprising Hayter was meant to be replaced before. Synonymous with Snake he might be, and a part of our shared gaming history he definitely is... but a good voice actor? Hammy, over-the-top, unintentionally hilarious? Sure.
But good? I’m not so sure. Still would have been better than Kiefer’s half-role in MGS5, mind.