Update: Sega has provided Game Informer with a comment on the departure of Roger Craig Smith. You can see the statement in its entirety below.
Roger Craig Smith’s portrayal of Sonic the Hedgehog is one that fans are sure to remember for generations to come. He brought the character to life in a truly authentic way, with Sonic’s signature attitude and flair, and we’ll always be thankful to Roger for his contribution to the franchise.
Original Story – 1/28/2021 @ 10:42 a.m. CT
Roger Craig Smith is far from the first voice actor to assume the role of Sonic the Hedgehog, but he very well may be the most iconic. Sure, Jaleel White will always have a special place in the hearts of ’90s kids and Ben Schwartz recently assumed the role in the live-action theatrical film, but ever since 2010’s Sonic Free Riders and Sonic Colors, Smith has delivered the iconic voice of the Blue Blur across myriad media. Now, the prolific voice actor has posted on social media that he is stepping away from the role.
Smith has served as the voice actor of Sonic the Hedgehog in roles spanning not only video games, but television and movies as well. In addition to voicing Sonic in games like Sonic Forces, Lego Dimensions, Team Sonic Racing, Sonic Generations, and the Super Smash Bros. series, Smith has also performed the role in the Sonic Boom animated series, as well as both Wreck-It Ralph films. Outside of the role of Sonic, Smith is best known for his work as Ezio in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Chris Redfield in the Resident Evil series, Captain America in various Marvel projects, and Batman in Batman: Arkham Origins.
“Welp, 10 years was an amazing run,” Smith said in a tweet this morning. “Onward to new zones! Much love to the fans who’ve been so kind. 💙 It’s been an honor. 🦔”
The announcement comes during a year that is theorized to be a big one for the Sonic the Hedgehog series. 2021 serves as the 30th anniversary of Sega’s flagship franchise, and fans are expecting announcements to celebrate the occasion. Traditionally, the Sonic franchise has made major announcements or released tentpole games during its milestone anniversaries; Sonic Adventure 2 hit Dreamcast during the series’ 10th anniversary, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) was meant to celebrate the series’ 15th anniversary, and both Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces were announced during a 25th anniversary party at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. While we still don’t know what (if anything) Sega and Sonic Team have planned for Sonic’s 30th anniversary, having a fan favorite step away from the lead role is likely not what most people had in mind as a way to kick things off.
We have reached out to Sega and Sonic Team for comment but we did not immediately receive a response. We will update this story if we receive comment.
[Source: Roger Craig Smith on Twitter]