Why did 343 Industries change the voice actor for Master Chief? (Japan)

In Japan, Rikiya Koyama was the voice actor for Master Chief in Halo 4, Halo 5, and Halo Infinite. However, the fan favorite was voiced by Atsuki Tani in Halo 1, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Reach.
Only Cortana seems to be back this time, but why does 343i’s Tojima keep using voice actors who are not well received by the fans?

343 Industries’ Tojima tweeted the following when Japanese fans were upset about Halo 4
“If you’re disappointed when you play the game because of this cast, it’s my fault.”

Please don’t continue to ignore our feedback.


I’m in the West, so I get the beautiful tones of Steve Downes’ voice, but this is interesting to me.

I agree with op. we need answers 343.


Thank you very much. I am glad that the right choice continues to be made in the US.

In Japan, the voice acting issue is still a big problem among Halo fans, and I hope they will make an official statement.


Try using English audio with Japanese subs friend, that way you can hear the legend that is Steve Downes.


Thanks for the reply.

Some Japanese fans choose English audio with Japanese subtitles; back in the Xbox 360 days, English audio was not included on the Japanese disc, so some people went to the trouble of ordering the English disc.

But for us, Master Chief is Mr. Tani, and we want to hear his voice again.


Why didn’t the Japanese version of the voice actor return to Mr. Tani?
He’s a special voice actor who can play the perfect Master Chief in Japanese
Mr. Tani was the master chief during the Bungie era
The Master Chief of the 343 era has a different voice.
I’m so sad


I’m glad someone agrees with me.

When I heard the words “spiritual reboot” from 343 Industries, I was slightly hopeful.
But as it turns out, I was disappointed. This sounds very different from Bungie’s Halo.


I didn’t even know there were Japanese versions of the games.


Halo is now available in Japan, and Halo Infinite is also safely on its way.

However, sales have been declining since Halo 4, and Halo Wars 2 has yet to be dubbed.

Compared to the past, more and more people in Japan are gradually playing FPS, so there is a possibility that Halo Infinite will be successful.

However, if 343 Industries continues to neglect the Halo community in Japan, it may be difficult.


HALOWARS2 did not have Japanese audio.
I love Atriox because I love John DiMaggio’s voice
But that’s right.
After all, I want to hear the story in my native language.
And I wanted 343i to take over the world of the original trilogy.


i wonder if this change was in part of 343 taking over full run of the series much like the change in design basically everything saw (i still hate the way basically all the aliens and the pelicans look now). or if some other factors lead to the decision. voice actor contracts have the opportunity for a variety of complications and i doubt unless the original VA comes out and says why they arent involved any longer i doubt the reasons will come to light. I am quite thankful the english cast has retained Steve Downes and Jen Taylor, both were quite kind when I met them and seemed passionate about the series.


Fans tend to be very particular in Japan about voice actors, so I am surprised that 343, Microsoft or whoever was responsible for the system would change it. Was there any kind of controversy or disagreement with the original voice actor that came to light? Any reason to get rid of him?

I guess Japan is not exactly a priority for Halo. Most of the focus tends to be on the US market. Things are not too bad in the anglosphere as people in those countries still share the same language with the developers and fans in the US, though we don’t tend to see as much merchandise or as many marketing promotions, and it is just as frustrating to be stuck in a US server when you are in the UK as it is in Japan.

I have to say I am happy to hear about Japanese fans. I have never personally met one in the wild in my time here (though I do live in a very rural prefecture), but I do occasionally find myself on a Japanese server from time to time. I hope 343 and Microsoft listen to the fans and do more to appease them.


Mr. Tani, who was in charge of the master chief of the original trilogy, was a cool performer who was also in charge of dubbing Liam Neeson, for example.
It’s not that Mr. Tani’s ability isn’t enough.

Japanese fans don’t know why.
There was a lot of repulsion at the time of HALO 4, but as a result, only about 300 people were able to sign the signature activity.
(I submitted 300 gamertags to MS)
But HALO 4 drops sales from ODST
There is no doubt that it was the catalyst for cooling the heat of XBOX in Japan.

Mr. Tani’s voice matched Steve’s image

Thank you for listening to the small voice of Japan
I wish Infinite a success


I was actually very curious about this too. When I first heard that Japanese Halo fans were upset about the change in voice actors I was surprised that they allowed for a change to begin with seeing how Japan values their voice actors so much more than the west does. I’m even more surprised to hear they still haven’t addressed the outcry from you.
I also out of curiosity played Halo in Japanese through the MCC when the outcry reached my ears and I too wish to see the original back at some point.


It was the audio producers decision because of personal taste, and the cortana VA was also replaced by the way, wasn’t just the master chief.

I can’t include links in my post lulz. Well I guess it’ll come down to if you believe me or not but google had an article “343 is -Yoink!- off a lot of Japanese fans” and it was about the voice actor changes they made in H4. I’m. Short it was creative differences it sounds like, so 343 pretty much wanted to try different people and they’ve stuck with it.


Please, 343.
The voice actors of The Weapon and Cortana seem to be similar to the original trilogy,
The Master Chief was different from the original trilogy.
If Halo Infinite is a spiritual reboot
Voice actors should also be changed to the original trilogy. (Voice DLC is also acceptable)


It was Mr. Tani, the predecessor, who was close to the original voice of the Master Chief. And his Master Chief was ‘just’.
Mr. Koyama is not bad now, but he is a little too -Yoink!-.
Speaking of the Master Chief becoming 007, I think it’s easy for foreigners to understand.
Mr. Tani was perfect.
We like to play in Japanese to immerse yourself in the story.
If the creator wants a more perfect HALO, why not stick to the localized voice actors?


If only Akiko Koike, who played Cortana in the original trilogy, would be restored, I wanted Atsuki Tani, who played the role of Master Chief, to be restored as well. I sincerely hope that Mr. Atsuki Tani, who is the right person for the Japanese Master Chief, will return.


Have you considered that 343 may not of had the choice in the matter? Could be anything from Microsoft approval, budget, the voice actor may of been busy or he didn’t fit the schedule they needed

343 Industries’ audio director, Tojima, explained the reason in Japanese on Twitter.

“We came to the decision that we should be brave and use voice actors who focus on the roles of the two characters this time.”
“This decision was strongly influenced by my own feelings, so if you are disappointed when you play the game because of this cast, it is my responsibility. I have a responsibility to deliver more excitement and excitement than just a feeling of discomfort to the people who have loved HALO up until now.”

In other words, as you have pointed out, it’s not because of the old voice actors’ schedules, budgets, or contracts that they can no longer do it.
It’s simply that the staff at 343 Industries wanted to change the voice actors for the Japanese version, so they did.

There is no official explanation beyond that.