Roger Craig Smith Reveals Sonic Departure Was His Decision, “It’s Time To Be Done”

Roger Craig Smith has revealed that he chose to step away from voicing Sonic the Hedgehog, and was not a result of SEGA decision-making.

In an interview with Voices from Krypton, the voice actor – whose other roles have ranged from Batman to Assassin’s Creed’s Ezio Auditore to Bugsnax’s Snorpy Fizzlebean – said that he felt he had naturally given as much as he could to SEGA’s blue-blur mascot. The timing simply felt right for him to step away and explore new roles, he suggested.

Asked about the reason for his departure, Roger said, “I think my response would be “it’s just one of those things.” It’s a time in looking at the way things are being handled and the way that you are, 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 to be done.'”

Of course, when news broke of Roger Craig Smith leaving the role of Sonic (which we originally reported on here), many commentators believed that he had been fired by SEGA as part of an overall cast change. The actor addressed this as well.

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!

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’…

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.’

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.’

You will be sorely missed, Roger! If you haven’t checked it out already, give our recent opinion article a ‘spin’ which celebrates Roger Craig Smith’s ten-year tenure as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Published by

Dreadknux

Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.

16 Comments

  1. I don’t know how to look at this. Part of me wants to say “Oh, so Sonic’s just not good enough for him now huh?” Another part is saying he was definitely let go, just compare it with the other actors.
    And finally he did indeed quit but for a reason he cannot say.

    Also since both Jason and Ryan (technically even Jaleel since he was in that fan film) seem willing to keep voicing Sonic it feels like another reason to criticize RCS for abandoning the character.

    1. I think this is reading way too far into it. Haven’t you ever worked a job long enough to feel it’s time to leave? Sometimes you really have gotten everything you are going to get out of something you are doing.

      Maybe there ARE other things going on, but realistically the guy has been doing it for ten years, it’s very believable that he might just be done with Sonic. Some VAs like to own their characters, to others it is a temporary role they are happy to pass the torch on.

      It might even be good that he is making way for another. I love Mike Pollock’s Eggman, but I wonder about the potential Eggmans we never get to hear due to his hold on the role. I am interested to hear the new cast for sure.

      1. I would agree if RCS was switching work, it makes perfect sense, but he’s said he’ll continue being a VA.

        If I were a VA and I had been voicing a popular character for 10 years I would definitely continue, especially now with the new movie and TV show on the radar, even if they use other actors and I only did the games, the amount of new fans and mainstream popularity will increase too much to just let go of the role.

        Another way to look at it is how demanding voicing a character like Sonic is nowadays, the games don’t have a lot of dialogue, so even if you’re a busy VA with better roles available it’s hard to think it would become a problem to show up and say the lines. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the games don’t rely on syncing the flaps anyway so it probably takes less effort than your typical dubbing gig.

        I do wonder how long it must have taken RCS to do Forces.

    2. Some people don’t want to be known for being xyz character.
      Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson will forever be associated with Harry Potter – at times to the detriment of their later acting career. Kit Harringtom will forever be associated with Jon Snow etc.

      Smith is more than entitled to leave for whatever reason he likes. He could be leaving because he’s bored of the role, or because he doesn’t want to be known as the voice actor for Sonic. Whatever the case may be, its his choice, and he’s not obligated to continue it because we fans want him to, or because other actors were enamoured enough with the role to want to continue.

      1. That’s a legit good reason to leave, but it makes me wonder why someone like Mike Pollock hasn’t left yet, who’s been doing it for much longer and has a more interesting/powerful voice.

        And it’s so different for voice actors, I don’t suppose RCS relies on his Sonic voice for other works. I know I wouldn’t recognize him if he did a normal voice.

        Watson wears the same face and voice for her roles, so sure, anyone would recognize her.

        I just want to make it clear tho, I’m not purposely trying to poke people here, RCS is a good VA, whether or not he was a good Sonic, meh, I blame it more on the lines he was given, I just find his statement on the matter to be so vague that it make you think why even bother saying anything at all?

        Money, or work conditions sound more likely to me than attaching a name to a character.

    3. Do you feel that way because he forgot to provide a signed permission slip for the Sonic fan Illuminati to keep on file? You should just listen to the entire episode and be happy for the guy.

    4. You’re reading way too much into this. Roger doesn’t want to voice the character anymore; he’s moving on. Whatever his reasons for wanting to leave the role are his and his alone, and on his own terms. End of story.

  2. Honestly, I’d rather he leave proud of what he’s done then end up like Sean Schemmel- a man who takes his role as Goku so seriously that he’s genuinely unpleasant to listen to when the character is brought up.

  3. That’s a pretty bad decision for a voice actor to do imho, won’t it hurt future job applications if he just decides to quit a role? The voice is a part of a characters identity and shouldn’t be let go off easily.

    I was hoping it was Sega’s decision as part to improve Sonics identity. So this makes things worse to me

    1. No? Whilst I do feel that what you’re saying about a character’s identity is pretty sound, it’s not necessarily uncommon to see voice actors cycle out of certain roles if they just don’t want to do it anymore. If Roger has lost the passion or enjoyment he once had from performing the character then he has the right to bow out. To me at least, it actually makes him come off as more sincere then if he were to string himself along voicing Sonic for another ten years just for the sake of making some more of that sweet moolah.

      Roger is a fairly high profile VA with a lot of mainstream roles, he really doesn’t need Sonic to stay afloat and the implication that he would get snubbed from future work just because he decided to retire from Sonic is honestly pretty nonsensical. VAs are hired through auditions based on how well the casting director likes their performance, it’s about what you’re able to bring then as opposed to anything you might’ve done in the past.

    2. It’s no different than David Tennant giving up the role of The Doctor in Doctor Who. He’s ending it on his own terms, and moving on.

  4. I dunno…with Cindy Robinson leaving her voice role and Colleen O’Shaughnessy’s role up in the air as well it seems like it was more than just deciding to move on.

    In the very least it sounds like he might have been nudged.

  5. I’m quite happy for the guy to be honest. He said it himself, being in his late 40’s and all now, I could understand that after ten years it’s time to move on and do something different. I’m sure he enjoyed his time voicing Sonic but with how the character is written now and the little variation to the job aside from say this and leave, you can imagine that he would begin to feel a lack of direction or purpose after a while. Nonetheless, I’m glad he had his tenure on the character and have really enjoyed his performances. Wishing him all the best for the next role or opportunity that comes his way.

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