Sonic the Hedgehog is arguably one of gaming’s most iconic characters, right up there with the likes of Pac-Man and even Mario. For the last ten years, fans will recognize his voice as that of Roger Craig Smith, but all of that is looking to change now. Earlier today, Smith made a somewhat cryptic tweet hinting that he would be stepping down from the role of Sonic’s voice actor, and now it has been confirmed by an official statement from Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account. The news certainly comes as a surprise, and leaves many uncertain about the character’s future.
Of course, Sonic the Hedgehog isn’t going anywhere, and this actually isn’t even the first time he’s had a voice change. Smith has voice acted for the character since 2010, but there have been many others that came before him. Even so, when someone is the voice of a character for so long, it can be difficult for the voice actor and fans alike to move on from that role and see the character in a new light.
For now, many are still thanking Smith for the way he was able to bring the character to life, but there are also those that are looking ahead instead. At the moment, there’s no word on who the next voice actor for the blue blur will be, but fans are already running wild with speculation. Some think that Ben Schwartz, the voice actor for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie will take over, while others would prefer a previous voice of Sonic like Jason Griffith to make a return.
It also should be said that it seems Smith and Sega are parting amicably, with both thanking the other for the time they spent working together. Smith may be leaving the role behind, but he’s taking an impressive record along with him. As it stands, he is the longest standing English voice actor for the character, beating out all other previous VAs. He’s also one of the longest standing English voice actors for the franchise in general, only being beaten out in that regard by Mike Pollock’s rendition of Eggman.
Though many are sad to see Smith go, he assures fans that he is going “onward to new zones.” It will be exciting to see who fills his large shoes in the future, and whether or not they can bring an equally iconic voice to Sonic the Hedgehog moving forward. Netflix is working on an animated Sonic the Hedgehog series for the year 2022, so fans should definitely know who the new voice actor is by then.