The voice of Snake in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain was performed by 24 actor Kiefer Sutherland, not series veteran David Hayter. Now, Hayter has spoken up about why he was not involved with the project and explained that he has no intention to ever work with series creator Hideo Kojima again.
Regarding why he wasn't involved with The Phantom Pain, Hayter told Game Informer that he bumped into a producer for the game at a recording studio and was told Konami was going in a different direction. "That was basically it," Hayter said. He then spoke with Metal Gear English casting director Kris Zimmerman, who reportedly told him, "'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. They tried to get voice matches, and it never happened."
Hayter further explained that the writing had been on the wall. There was apparently some amount of friction brewing between Hayter and Kojima, with the game designer hoping to find a different actor to perform the lead role, though it's unclear why.
"I had to re-audition for Metal Gear 3 to play Naked Snake," Hayter said. "They made me re-audition to play Old Snake, and the whole time, they were trying to find somebody else to do it. I heard that Kojima asked one of the producers on Metal Gear 3 to ask Kurt Russell if he would take over for that game. He didn't want to do it."
Hayter goes on to say that he cherishes the time he spent working on the Metal Gear Solid series, though he wishes his professional involvement with the series could have ended better.
"I don't have any ill will toward Kiefer Sutherland or anything like that," he said. "The whole thing could have been handled better and a little more respectfully, but I'm not going to cry about it."
Finally, he says he hasn't played The Phantom Pain ("that'll be 60 hours of humiliation") and that a future partnership with Kojima is unlikely to happen. "I've got no particular love for Kojima. I don't feel any need to go back and work with him again."
In 2013, before the launch of The Phantom Pain, Hayter said Konami never asked him to work on the game and never told him why he was passed over.
"If it were my choice, I would do this role forever," Hayter said at the time about Snake. "To hear anyone else's voice coming from Snake's battered throat, makes me a little ill, to be honest."