Update: Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima confirmed that Sutherland will be in Ground Zeroes as well as Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
"Keifer will be in both Ground Zeroes and MGS5: The Phantom Pain," Kojima plainly stated in an interview with Gametrailers.
"Be in," doesn't necessarily mean "play Snake," leading some to theorise that this was all a bit of misdirection and that Hayter will still be the voice of Snake in Ground Zeroes. However, Hayter has tweeted conclusively that this is not the case.
Original story: 24 star Kiefer Sutherland will be doing the voice of Snake in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.
This is the first time David Hayter has not been cast as the bearded badass.
Director Hideo Kojima explained that his producer friend, Avi Arad, suggested Sutherland for the role. "He's the one who introduced me to Mr. Kiefer Sutherland. And I was like 'why didn't I think of that?'" said Kojima at the Konami press conference video, via translation.
"Whenever I think of Snake, I think of a certain voice delivery. Kiefer has this fantastic rich voice that maintains a level of mystery to it," Arad explained.
"I'm not a gamer and I even knew about this game," said Sutherland. "I was certainly keenly aware of the legacy of these games, the unbelievable success of these games."
Hayter has wished Sutherland well with the role. "Can't fault @RealKiefer," he tweeted. "Great actor, good man. The game will probably still be excellent. Like New Coke!"
It's unclear why Hayter is no longer in the role, but it sounds like it wasn't his decision to walk away from it. "To my beloved Tweeps, I can't thank you enough for all your support. Getting fired was never so heartwarming," he added.
Sutherland is no stranger to video game voice acting, having appeared in Call of Duty: World at War, 24: The Game, and bizarrely Street Fighter X Tekken.
Elsewhere, it was confirmed that Metal Gear Solid 5 will take place in 1984, making Snake 49 years old.