After voice actor Roger Craig Smith confirmed late January that he will not reprise his franchise role of Sonic the Hedgehog, a lot of speculation arose in regards to what could have lead to this.
In a interview with Voices From Krypton, Smith shed more light into the context of his departure from the long-time voice-over role of Sonic the Hedgehog. Contrary to online speculation that claimed Smith was dismissed from his role, he hinted that he walked away on his own accord after feeling that it was the “time” to do so.
I think my response would be “it’s just one of those things.” It’s a time in, you know, looking at the way things are being handled and the way that you are, and where you’re at, and what you kind of want to deal with, and do. And I found myself going, “I think it’s time. I think it’s time it’s kind of.. to do done.”Roger Craig Smith
So, that’s what that was. And I know people are sort of surprised and shocked by it, and it was like “yeah”, and I’ve seen all the speculation that were like, “voice actors don’t walk away, he was fired!”
Smith and Robinson’s departure of their voice-over roles led to community uncertainty about a possible major voice cast change, similar to the events prior to Sonic Colours. The voice actor commented about the discussion that came from that, and spoke critically about those who relayed the “dismissal” assumptions.
It’s interesting the perception that people have, and we get this all the time; like, it’s amazing how all the experts that are out there that have nothing to do with this industry that make all of these assumptions, you know, “this is how this works and this is what this does,”Roger Craig Smith
You know, after a while you do things and start going “I think I’m very pleased and I’m very proud and I’m very happy with what has happened there,” and I think it’s time to say, “I don’t want to keep doing this.”Roger Craig Smith
Some people would be like, “why?” and it’s like, “it doesn’t have to make sense to you.” It’s perfectly good sense to me and it was the right thing to do, and I’m happy to have done it.’
Smith’s regards come at an unusual time for the franchise’s English voice-over cast, right ahead of the blue blur’s 30th anniversary. Cindy Robinson, Amy Rose’s voice actor, indicated that she will be leaving the role. On the flip side, Mike Pollock announced he will continue voicing Doctor Eggman in the games. The voice of Sonic in the 2020 Sonic film, Ben Schwartz, threw in his two cents as well and subverted suggestions that he may replace Smith in the games.
h/t Liam Ashcroft, Emily Jones