Smith’s return was “one last job” according to Monkey Ball voice actor.
Shortly after our original story, Roger Craig Smith responded to a fan on twitter regarding the rumor.
There are many possible interpretations of Matt-Uhl’s “one last job” comment, whether he was mistaken, or if it refers to multiple future projects, or whether Sonic as a character is that “one last job” in of itself. However, at this time, it doesn’t seem like Smith has intent to leave the role in the immediate future.
Brian Matt-Uhl, interpreter and voice actor for games such as Monkey Ball, Shenmue, and Gitaroo Man, held a live YouTube Q&A regarding the Monkey Ball series, the upcoming Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, and his career as a western voice actor living in Japan.
However, around the 48 minute mark, Matt-Uhl mentions having met the voice actors for Sonic and Mario (he does not mention them by name, but presumably Roger Craig Smith and Charles Martinet respectively).
Talking with those narrators [voice actors], I’m very, very happy that our Sonic narrator is come back, he was gonna go on retirement, he came out to do [air quotes] one last job.Brian Matt-Uhl, “Super Monkey Ball Main Announcer Brian Q&A” (YouTube), 48:14
Sega currently has several Sonic projects in the works, most notably Sonic Colors Ultimate, Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, Sonic Prime, and the 2022 video game. We only know of Smith’s involvement in Rise of the Wisps; it’s unclear if Matt-Uhl was referring to that project or a future one.
Throughout the rest of the Q&A, Matt-Uhl speaks incredibly candidly about his experiences with previous Monkey Ball games, details he knows about the upcoming Banana Mania remake, and his struggles with Sega’s legal group and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio in having he and other Western voice actors credited for their work in the Monkey Ball series.
Thanks to Bulbasquirtle on our Discord for the tip!