Matt Mercer, voice actor for Leon Kennedy, reveals that he has not been asked to reprise the role for Resident Evil 7, and that Capcom is cutting back on character cameos.
So far, Capcom has been remaining very secretive over upcoming title Resident Evil 7. Although some details have surfaced about the game, most recently through the story synopsis that accompanied the game's rating, overall the sequel seems to be very much a mystery. As it turns out, the plot may even remain a mystery to the major characters of the Resident Evil series so far - at least, as far as Leon Kennedy's voice actor is concerned.
Matt Mercer, who voices the Resident Evil franchise's occasional hero Leon S. Kennedy, has revealed that his character is not going to return in Resident Evil 7. Speaking with Gamespot, Mercer revealed that he has yet to be asked to return for the highly-anticipated sequel. The voice actor, who voiced Leon Kennedy in Resident Evil 6, also gave a reason for Leon's exclusion, stating that Capcom is "scaling back" the use of the usual characters.
"As far as 7 goes, I think they're scaling back a little bit on throwing in all the classic cameos," said Mercer. "I can say that I don't have any involvement in 7 directly." However, Mercer has suggested that Capcom has good reason for that, in order to ensure that Resident Evil 7 acts very much as its own beast. "I think it's also good of them, especially coming off of Resident Evil 6 and its lukewarm reception, to go ahead and reestablish their roots and maybe start an original story," Mercer explained.
That's not to say that Mercer has given up on the idea of playing Leon Kennedy again in a later game, however. The voice actor said that he is "eagerly awaiting the phone call" from Capcom, and feels a "strong appreciation" for the character overall. "I loved him when I played the series and being able to step into those shoes has been a huge honor," said Mercer. "So any chance to jump into his shoes again, I would definitely leap at."
The news that Leon S. Kennedy is not returning for Resident Evil 7 may not strike some as a surprise. After all, the sequel appears to differ hugely from anything that the franchise has done before, with a first person viewpoint and no quicktime events. That said, the series' last big transition, Resident Evil 4, was helped by the inclusion of Kennedy as the main character, so some fans may be concerned that there is little to keep Resident Evil 7 from feeling like a part of the franchise at all.
Nonetheless, the title's reception so far certainly has lots of gamers interested in the project. The game's demo has set records for PS4 downloads, and many fans are intriguied to see exactly what Spec Ops: The Line writer Richard Pearsey can do with the Resident Evil universe. Hopefully, Capcom will be able to give players a more solid idea of what to expect soon.
Resident Evil 7 will be released on January 24, 2017 for PC, PS4, PlayStation VR, and Xbox One.