Ryan Drummond, voice actor for Sonic the Hedgehog in the SONICTEAM games for the last five years, has revealed to the Sonic community about his replacement by Jason Griffith from the ‘SONIC X’ cast.
In an email he has sent to fans ahead of his monthly newsletter on RyanDrummond.com, Drummond has explained how SEGA made a decision to replace the entire Game Voiceover Cast of the Sonic games with the Voiceover Cast from the US Dub ‘SONIC X’ cartoon, without letting him know about it. In a shock, if perhaps inevitable direction by the ‘House of Sonic’, the company felt that the move would maintain a level of continuity between the games and other products, such as the cartoon series.
” I am NOT leaving Sonic’s voice by choice.”, Ryan explained, “Sega decided that product continuity WAS important to them starting with this new Shadow game. So, WITHOUT TELLING ME, they have *replaced* me as the voice of Sonic with the fella who does Sonic’s voice for the Sonic X show. I was only told after it happened… Now I have no ill-will towards the new voice… I DO, however, have issue with Sega for having no grace in letting me go from my position.”
Fans have been torn between hatred towards SEGA, based on sympathy for Ryan’s ‘disrespectful’ sacking, and indifference on the grounds that voice actors do not necessarily alter the gaming experience. Those sitting on the fence have been comparing the Sonic Adventure cast with the Sonic X cast on forums to form some sort of decisive opinion.
Lani Minella, the voice actor for Rouge in the games and the voice casting director for Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Heroes, recently confirmed the message that Drummond sent was in fact true.
A petition from irate fans has been setup for SEGA’s attention. Those that are interested can view it here.
The ‘new’ Sonic the Hedgehog voice cast will be providing their chords for the games series, beginning with Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic Riders (which may explain the rather strange voices heard at the very end of the Sonic Riders trailer found at TSS).
We congratulate the Sonic Adventure voice cast on a job well done over the last five years, and wish the new ‘SONIC X’ cast all the best with their new positions.
Thanks to Nicknyte from the SonicAnime.net forums and CoolFunkMan from the SSMB Forums for the news.