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Game Voice Actors Consider Strike, Game Developers Respond

nolan north 09-24-15-1

Video game voice actors known for their roles in iconic game series like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, and more are considering a strike for higher compensation for their work.

They’ve begun to drum up awareness for the movement via the hashtag #PerformanceMatters, with a wide variety of voice actors and fans rallying behind the cause.

“Dear actors & gamers, Please retweet if you agree that #PerformanceMatters in video games #IAmOnBoard2015,” said David Hayter on Twitter. Jennifer Hale also sounded off on Twitter: “voted YES bc #performancematters #Iamonboard2015.”

The union representing voice actors, SAG-AFTRA, is looking into a strike, if their demands aren’t reached. According to their official website, SAG-AFTRA is hoping to obtain performance bonuses like royalties after a game begins making profit; a stunt coordinator on set (as well as stunt pay for “vocally stressful recording sessions”); more communication on game projects; more preparation for motion capture; and more.

SAG-AFTRA has entered negotiations with large publishers like Activision and EA since February, to no avail. Union members can vote on whether or not they want to go on strike since the 16th of September, with voting closing on October 5th.

david jaffe 09-24-15-1
EDITOR’S NOTE: David Jaffe is NOT one of the developers in this article

How are game developers reacting to this? While you won’t see much publicly on social media, we’ve obtained some reactions from both AAA and former-AAA developers. To protect the identities of these individuals, we’ve censored their names.

“Drop them all,” said one developer. “I couldn’t give less of a shit who the actors are that perform game voices. These people are nuts. They already get too much money for what is arguably a pretty easy gig. We’re working years on single projects for, if we are lucky, fair salaries.”

“The problem us devs have is that they are asking for royalties for a day or a week of work when devs work on titles for 2-5 years and get none,” said another developer. “Every few years they do this and re-learn that they aren’t that special,” said another developer.

“And the ONE guy that gets all the jobs so ‘narrative designers’ can jerk off to meeting him,” said another developer.

One developer responded to a fan saying they want higher rewards for voice talent, while also questioning whether or not underpaid developers could strike as well. “Devs can’t strike. There’s a much higher supply of potential devs than jobs. A dev strike would be met with a wave of goodbye. There’s nothing so special about certain voice actors that I can’t live without.”

Finally, another developer recanted a bygone time in which game developers got back more from the games they helped create. “There was a time when devs used to get royalties… and you worked your ass off in the hope that when the game made it big you would see a nice pay day. Now, seems that game development is like a labor camp where no matter how hard you work you will never get a big reward for your efforts.”

It’s worth reiterating these are only a handful of game developers, and are by no means an example of the gaming industry at large. However, it really makes you wonder how other game developers feel. If you’re a game developer and would like to speak up regarding the issue – please contact us!


What are your thoughts on the entire thing? Do voice actors deserve higher compensation for their work, or should we be looking instead to benefit the game developers first?

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About

Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive, Catholic



226 comments
  1. Meinos Kaen
    Meinos Kaen
    September 24, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Hmmm… I wonder how much Voice Actors currently make. Also, jesus christ, why devs? It’s publishers who hold the granola. Wrong targets much?

  2. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    September 24, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Wil Wheton and Ashley Burch are two of those calling for the strike which is great because it might mean developers stop using those talentless hacks (add Felicia Day and it would be PERFECT).
    If they do strike we’ll at “worst” get more original audio (for imports) and British voice acting, which would be nice.

  3. Mike Nieto
    Mike Nieto
    September 24, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Holy shit this looks like it’s going to be a nice train wreck to watch from afar.

  4. JCTXS
    JCTXS
    September 24, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    I’ll be a bit sad about some dub talent going poof, but I’d rather side with the developers’ feelings on the subject.
    Either way, I can only see games’ prices going up another $10 hike however this dispute turns out.

  5. Mike Nieto
    Mike Nieto
    September 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    Now, the question is: who gets to keep the money once the game sees profits then¿ the publisher¿

  6. Tracker
    Tracker
    September 24, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Not a big fan of unions. I can understand for some of the harshest, life endangering jobs out there, but not for this. Let the free market decide who rises to the top, and who should get different careers.

  7. BeholdMyPower
    BeholdMyPower
    September 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    This is the thing, we keep hearing here and there in piecemeal form that conditions for developers in this industry are terrible. The media has for years consistently failed to report on it, however, and thus we as fans/consumers are so uninformed it’s ridiculous. I don’t really know who’s side to vie for here – if there even is one.

  8. Muten
    Muten
    September 24, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    OK.

    Yeah, everytime i play a game, and really enjoy the gameplay, the level design, the esthetics, the art direction, the soundtrack, mod compatibility, the writing, the overall story, i cant think of any group of people responsible for it, other than, of course, the voice actors.

  9. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 24, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    There is something to be said about voice actors superstars like North and Baker, who are used as marketing, much like real actors. I’m pretty sure they are getting paid very well for what they are doing and any potential increase in their services will force publishers to put more anti consumer practices to make up for the difference. Plus, if more lesser known actors were used, instead of the same clique of 10 people, this wouldn’t be such a key role in games as there would be competition.

    I may not be very objective since I am a software engineer and would tend to sympathize more with the developers.

  10. phagette
    phagette
    September 24, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I can live without voice acting, in fact all it does ever does is ham up the game, and most of the time I skip through it anyway to get to the portion I bought the thing for in the first place. The most atmospheric games I’ve ever played don’t have voice acting.

    Cut them loose, I say.

  11. Jeremiah Simpson
    Jeremiah Simpson
    September 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    I sympathize a bit with the developers who look at this and say “but we don’t get royalties either”. I think some of them should. Not every person who works on a game, mind you, but the lead creative talent should be benefiting from the returns on a game.

  12. Eric Kelly
    Eric Kelly
    September 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    This may be a good thing for the little guys to actually get their names out there and generate work instead of the same people over and over again as the main characters. Why do we need Ashley Burch in every single female role of a major AAA game or Nolan North in the male ones? I actually liked that Destiny used Dinklidge as the Ghost in year one of Destiny. At least it was someone new.

  13. Dakt
    Dakt
    September 24, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Really REALLY hope this blows up in their faces.

  14. Dakt
    Dakt
    September 24, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    …am I supposed to be seeing Shiggy Diggy in your pic? If not I need to spend less time online

  15. mekia
    mekia
    September 24, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Like i said before who the fuck do those people think who they are?

  16. dogmentation
    dogmentation
    September 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    I’m in mixed agreement with you. I try to separate my feelings about personalities from the quality of their work. I’m firmly in the camp that likes Ashly Burch’s voiceovers; she was amazing in Life is Strange. But I’ll agree that a lot of voice acting, not just import dubbing, is atrocious. I believe in fair compensation, if competent career voice actors feel they aren’t getting it, but there needs to be justifiable results to back up the demand.
    It doesn’t help any that a lot of studios have this Dreamworks syndrome, where they hire big name
    hollywood actors or internet personalities who have zero voice acting
    talent, like Kiefer Sutherland or Felicia Day.

  17. Wonderkarp
    Wonderkarp
    September 24, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Mocap actors, I say should get a bigger bonus. Thats Mocap. Thats a big bit of acting. But otherwise, I’m looking forward to playing some games and not hearing some voices for a while.

  18. Guest
    Guest
    September 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Fuck em, let them go on strike indefinitely. There’s hordes of people who would kill for these jobs and the same little clique of smug overpaid celebrities get all the paying work as it is. These people are so far up their own asses it’s unbelievable.

  19. NeoTechni
    NeoTechni
    September 24, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    “Wil Wheton and Ashley Burch are two of those calling for the strike”

    And now I could not care less. Wil has been too much of a jerk for me to care about what he wants.

  20. Hikikomori
    Hikikomori
    September 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Geez, at first when I heard about this I thought “Oh yeah, I can imagine companies like EA and Activision being big dicks” but then as I read this article, I realized developers were treated a lot worse in comparison. So yeah, fuck that. Get some new people in the voice acting industry.

  21. TwinspectreGaming101
    TwinspectreGaming101
    September 24, 2015 at 4:56 pm

    who cares about actors, i don’t buy games for these actors who thinks they matters

  22. TwinspectreGaming101
    TwinspectreGaming101
    September 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    i agree with Devs who are against Actors in videogames

  23. Taedirk
    Taedirk
    September 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Despite him being a wanker, Wil’s article on this whole thing has some very valid points on the non-monetary issues. It’s honestly worth a read before you just dismiss it as another in the long line of stupid things he says.

  24. Etherblaze
    Etherblaze
    September 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Tell Ashly and Wheaton to go FUCK themselves.

  25. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    September 24, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    This is the bigger issue, in my opinion. I’ve been trying to dig it out and have devs talk about it more, even anonymously (but I vet their position as a dev). Hopefully more to come!

  26. Cari
    Cari
    September 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Look into properly paying the game devs first!

  27. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    September 24, 2015 at 5:05 pm

    Here’s the thing, if they are REAL voice actors, then I think they should get a bit more pay at least, sure. But if its just former actors that are now losers trying to get any role they can get for money *cough* Wheton *cough*, ah, no, he makes more than enough fucking money. Unless his gold-digging wife and his step kids keep bleeding him dry.

    Just hope that if a lot of the actual GOOD and TALENTED voice actors, games won’t end up with horrible voice acting like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bangt7d9vGA

    Or this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zygDzAkothQ

  28. Dewey Defeats Truman
    Dewey Defeats Truman
    September 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I hope they do strike. Dubbing VA in the states is kind of a total fucking joke and while you can say that’s because of the lower quality compared to, say, Japanese voice acting, it’d probably be a lot better off if they got even half the respect Japanese voice actors/actresses have in their country and the industry wasn’t treated as if it was a last resort that people only do when they can’t get “real” acting jobs.

  29. Reon
    Reon
    September 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Some demands seem reasonable

    more communication on game projects; more preparation for motion capture; and more.

    If they need more communication and preparation to deliver a better job what’s the problem?
    The games will be better as result.
    And it sounds like their issue here is with the big companies, only EA and Activision are mentioned as usual.
    Does it surprise anyone?
    The company that didn’t pay athletes for their use in games and has been sued for underpaying overtime from developers.

    A bigger issue here is not that voice actors are underpayed and misstreated, the problems is that everyone in the entire industry is being treated like that so Mr AAA publisher stock holder rich person can have another mc mansion this year.

    Most voice actors suck by the way, the ones worth keeping in the industry because they do a good job are a minority.

  30. Reon
    Reon
    September 24, 2015 at 5:09 pm

    this means more games with their original audio and less shoehorned dubs?
    and more british voices?
    awesome bring in the strike

  31. duggarbaby
    duggarbaby
    September 24, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Not really the best example, that company owner literally hired his family members to do that game.

  32. Reon
    Reon
    September 24, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    but will someone think of the executives?
    if they go around splitting profits between all the drones and little people then how will the executives afford a new yacht this year?

  33. Reon
    Reon
    September 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    please do
    this is stuff that not everyone likes to report about but it’s stuff we should all be more aware of

  34. Kamille
    Kamille
    September 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I’ll take this over most actors now a days for the comedy. Hell, I love 80’s/90’s anime/game dubs since there’s a charm. Went from being strictly dub only to Japanese and subs or outright muting a game in the last five years because I’m so sick of the flat deliveries and same 10 actors shitting everything up.

  35. MusouTensei
    MusouTensei
    September 24, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Okay… kinda off topic but why in the fuck do I see Karen of Shadow Hearts in that 1st video?

  36. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    September 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Touche :)

  37. Kamille
    Kamille
    September 24, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    David Hayter’s high ass hourly rate during MGS4 was one of the factors to kicking his ass out and bringing in a real actor with a flat rate.

    And Hell, says a lot when Metal Gear’s dubbing improved monumentally when a majority of the cast does stuff outside of voice acting (the only dub I loved from the series was the first games, and I have a feeling Jeremy Blaustine had a hand in it).

    Edit: I know Hayter does more than voice acting as well, but this implying these people are paid like shit is a joke. $1000 for a few hour session? C’mon.

  38. Gillman
    Gillman
    September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    When has the screen actors guild going on strike EVER worked out for them?

  39. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I believe the game there is Chaos Wars and I believe that the same company owns also the Shadow Hearts rights and it was kinda like a Namco X Capcom kind of strategy game. I know, sad isn’t it? XD

  40. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Actually I’ll just take no voice acting at this point. XD

  41. Dr. Evil's Brother's Evil Twin
    Dr. Evil's Brother's Evil Twin
    September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Maybe we need a new group of voice actors. Most of them are hypocritical hacks who are more concerned about pushing politics than helping make a good game. Looking at you: Day, Burch, North, and Wheaton (who besides the other 3, I wouldn’t consider a VA). Though I’m good with keeping Troy Baker.

  42. MusouTensei
    MusouTensei
    September 24, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    This would mostly affect AAA productions so whatever.

  43. No_Good_Names_Ever
    No_Good_Names_Ever
    September 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    “stunt coordinator on set (as well as stunt pay for “vocally stressful recording sessions”) ”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGuPKSBpyBY

    “negotiations with large publishers like
    Activision and EA”
    HAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!

    The chans always joked about Hayter being a whiny pissant, nice to see none of it was made up. Stop working with them all get get better people, I’m sick of hearing the same 5 voices anyways.

  44. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    September 24, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    80’s/90’s dubs kind of have that charm where some actors are doing their best in earnest, but still mess up and line deliveries are all over the place. Also a good number of them are retired so they’re kind of one-of-a-kind.

  45. ShepardRahl
    ShepardRahl
    September 24, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I like Troy Baker. I used to like Nolan North too, but that was before he did an interview with a no name website a few days ago and said video games are sexist and gamers need to grow up before real quality games can be produced. Basically shitting in the hand that feeds him. I lost a lot of respect for him.

  46. JustaGuest
    JustaGuest
    September 24, 2015 at 5:29 pm

    If they want more money, they should do a decent fucking job first. It’s insulting that Ashley Burch thinks she deserves money for the garbage that falls out of her mouth.

  47. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 24, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Baker was the victim of the feminist outrage, so perhaps he has a better understanding of those things.

    Do you have a link for the Nolan North interview?

  48. EvaUnitO2
    EvaUnitO2
    September 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    No, he really doesn’t. As has been pointed out elsewhere, SAG-AFTRA already has rules for what their actors can and can’t do within a particular period of time. Their working conditions are just fine.

  49. ArsCortica
    ArsCortica
    September 24, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    On the one hand, I will say that good voice actors can make or break a character. On the other hand, said voice actors could not do jack shit if said character had not been coded by coders, modeled by artists, and written by writers.

    Paying the voice actors a multitude of that these individual other parties receive seems odd to me, even you consider that the income of a voice actor probably is less steady than that of a (i.e.) coder who’s busy with a project for two or three years.

  50. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    September 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    It wouldn’t be surprising to see these people get replaced by others willing to do the same job for less.

  51. EvaUnitO2
    EvaUnitO2
    September 24, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Man, I remember that time I bought a game based on the voice acting back in 2000 and never.

  52. Maniate
    Maniate
    September 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    *recounted a time.
    I kind of miss when they had software engineers doing voice work, it could be hilarious. Incidentally, one of the VA’s demands is to forbid devs from using their employees to do voice work.

  53. ShepardRahl
    ShepardRahl
    September 24, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    I saw he got jumped on for some joke he made about Kaitlyn Jenner or something. I’m not privy to all of the details at the moment.

    Here is the link you requested: https://archive.is/6DVAs

  54. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    I just want to say that Kaitlyn Jenner is stunning and brave.

    With that out of the way, it is really disappointing to see North parrot the narrative. Someone with his experience should know and defend the medium. I fear that everybody at Naughty Dog may be engulfed by the PC police as evident by the Last of Us DLC and Neil Druckmann’s endorsement of Anita.

    In his own words from the Deadpool game – “Fuck you, Nolan North!”.

  55. Shannon Wilson
    Shannon Wilson
    September 24, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Are you implying that Kefier Sutherland didn’t get paid a fuck ton more than David Hayter?

    …cus dude…we need to have a talk if that’s what you honestly believe.

  56. Meittimies
    Meittimies
    September 24, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    They expect to get ROYALTIEs from bigger studio game sales, when the hundreds of coders, animators, concept artists, betatesters and translators get nothing?

    I’d understand if the strike was about something like inhuman crunching hours, or contracts which would stomp on their basic human rights. They are delusional if they think the few weeks of work they do for a game project that can last for years for the rest is something so crucial for the game that they should be paid royalties from sales. They’re not Hollywood movie stars.

  57. chaoguy
    chaoguy
    September 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    I agree they should all be paid the same way. Either from the profits of the game, or (god forbid) just paid by a publisher, who then pockets the profit on the game.

    The downside is that by the first method, what is a “fair” distribution of the money? How much time they put into it? How much “effort” it took? How much of their “content” wound up in the game as a %?

    On top of this, Unions can’t just “hold the line” on rights. Otherwise, why pay them? They get more money from members, so they make more demands. Until the bosses just outright bribe the union bosses. So instead of 1 group looking out for the consumer and the worker, you get the union boss and the company both arguing over money, and not thinking about the consumer (except to put them up on a stick and use them as a shield in debates).

    Just give me good VAs. Hell, if the performance is good, I’d almost not care who the person IS.

  58. Carl_Ed
    Carl_Ed
    September 24, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Good luck. I think you’ll find that that’ll be a more fertile news story.

  59. chaoguy
    chaoguy
    September 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    If they fight amongst themselves, publishers can appeal to one group by promising they’ll screw over the other (and vice-versa, even with the same publisher).

    Plus, you can bet publishers will throw fuel on the fire so they don’t turn on them and ask for better pay.

  60. CommanderZx2
    CommanderZx2
    September 24, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    I don’t see why they should get royalties when most movie & TV actors do not get royalties. It’s only on rare exceptions when the main actor for a movie negotiates to get a lower up front pay, but a percentage of profits does it occur.

  61. LostGryphon
    LostGryphon
    September 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Hell. I’d do VO for free.

  62. Carl_Ed
    Carl_Ed
    September 24, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    Unions will exist for as long as executives try to squeeze their workers, it’s just two sides of the same coin. Neither side cares about merit or hard work, everyone’s just a number.

  63. ShepardRahl
    ShepardRahl
    September 24, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Yes unfortunately. My favorite devs seem to be going the way of PC Bro…Bioware…Naughty Dog…

  64. epy
    epy
    September 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Maybe getting that japanese voice track will be more attractive now.

  65. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    September 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    2016: The year Zelda, Animal Crossing, Splatoon voices and Simlish became the most common form of putting voice acting in a video game.

  66. Ritchet
    Ritchet
    September 24, 2015 at 6:06 pm

    Some voice actors are paid every goddamn line they say. They have no right to have a strike when every other person involved in a game from a development standpoint has to work themselves to near death to even make it to a deadline and be paid scraps.
    That Burch chick and Wheaton are fucking parasites.

  67. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    September 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    I say screw the voice actors. The devs are the ones absolutely crushed by publishers, emotionally and financially. They deserve better pay, period.

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I almost hope this makes publishers/developers take a look at their projects and say, “Fuck it. We don’t want to pay your ridiculous fees. We’ll make games that AREN’T based entirely around narrative!” and they’ll focus on pumping out titles with kickass gameplay instead.

  68. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    September 24, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I do agree and voice actors like Billy West dislike celebrity voice actors who are just put to have them on the poster of the movie.
    If they are doing motion capture, then they should actually get actors and not voice actors.
    Plus I could do with less voice acting in games, I don’t dislike the Nintendo method and I think the voice acting detracted from Mass Effect and Skyrim.

  69. Nonscpo
    Nonscpo
    September 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Wow I kinda agree with the dev’s on this one. If they were trying to unionize every element of the game production, to better quality of life and pay for everyone in the industry, I’m sure everyone would be supportive. However they have selfishly only though about there corner of the industry, without considering how there actions will affect everyone else. I’m not the biggest fan of the AAA publishing scene, and In now way would I want to defend them, but there is no way they’ll prioritize the voice actors over there stockholders.

  70. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    September 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Like I mentioned in another comment, too much voice acting can detract from a game. Imagine how crippled Planescape Torment or the First Fallouts would be if they had extensive voice acting. Imagine how cringey a Zelda game would be with voice acting. Imagine Mega man with voice acting… oh wait it’s Mighty no 9.

  71. Domhnall
    Domhnall
    September 24, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    What the hell is this about stunt coordinators for voice recording sessions? Apparently there’s a lot more that goes into voice acting than I was ever aware of.

  72. Crayll
    Crayll
    September 24, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Oh, I really hope devs/publishers just tell them to fuck off. Maybe without having to worry about VA budgets we could go back to having decent amounts of dialogue in games.

  73. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    At least we still have Japan.

  74. Misogynerd
    Misogynerd
    September 24, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Atlus would rather remove all audio from the game than put a filthy Japanese track in their game that’s not Persona 4 Arena.

  75. Choppinfoot
    Choppinfoot
    September 24, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    Wil Wheaton, David Hayter, Ashley Burch. Goodbye, talentless hacks. Feel free to come back when you’re not so entitled.

  76. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    September 24, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Royalties for VAs is fucking crazy. Devs, who do 99% of the work, get none of that, have to go through crunch time, more often than not do unpaid overtime. This is absolute madness. Sure, residual payment is only made after 2 million sales has been achieved, and can only be paid for a total of 4 times, ending at 8 million sales. But this still doesn’t feel right when those who do the overwhelming majority of the work get nothing. Also, what about Steam sales or humble bundles, for instance? Would they also count as sales towards that goal?

    I also didn’t get just by reading their website if the payment is set at a fixed rate of U$ 3300. If it is, while low, there is the fact that some games have many voice actors, and the workload is uneven amongst them. Doesn’t seem right to give the same amount of money to everyone, regardless of their contributions.

    That aside, I read some of their demands, and most of them are reasonable, at least at a first glance.

  77. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    September 24, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    I think Nolan was quoted out of context and lead on in that interview.

  78. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    September 24, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    If you make a properly researched article about this, you would be the hero gaming needs. We always hear things here and there, but to have a single, well structured place to point people towards and say “see? its this shit that I’m talking about” would be great.

    One of the places where I remember reading about poor dev conditions was in the Masters of Doom book.

  79. Smacky
    Smacky
    September 24, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    VA should be reserved to Kickstarter stretch goals, at best.

  80. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    September 24, 2015 at 6:29 pm

    Honestly, I can think of TONS of games with minimal to no voice acting at all that still managed to be fun and/or downright emotional. Ico and Shadow of the Colossus come to mind immediately. Splatoon had nothing but squid chirps and WOOMY and it manages to be adorable and fun.
    Even the Souls series. You get some voice acting here and there – it’s minimal and isn’t the best quality, but the characters are still loved.
    We don’t need these mega high-end VAs asking for ridiculous piles of cash so they can be talking every two seconds throughout a six hour game.

    And thanks – I hadn’t heard anyone talking shit about MN9 yet today. I was getting worried I wouldn’t have my daily dose.

  81. Godmars
    Godmars
    September 24, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    Given what I’ve seen – heard – of “hobbits” VAs, people who do dubs on Youtube, this might be an issue. Cause a lot of them are good. Nothing like the early days of professional anime VAs.

  82. ShepardRahl
    ShepardRahl
    September 24, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Perhaps. I’m trying to keep an open mind. From what I understand the site is a known SJW rag. It would just be nice if he would respond to the requests for clarification on twitter he’s been receiving.

  83. Domingo
    Domingo
    September 24, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    This. So much This.

  84. Domingo
    Domingo
    September 24, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    I thought Hayter did a poor job at MGS4 (unless you really want to listen to a man gargle his own phlegm while speaking), and that he was very obviously phoning it in for Peace Walker.

    He was also pretty mad when he was recast as Snake’s voice and in many ways was looking to incite fan outrage.

    I’m pretty happy with Kiefer as Big Boss, all things considered.

  85. duggarbaby
    duggarbaby
    September 24, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Voice Actors have no right to the title of the game, at all. Especially since there are time limits to how early you can file a trademark. You cannot file it more than 3 years before release, which means they may not know what it is yet, or can’t say outside of internal documentation because more hands risks a leak before the papers go through

  86. duggarbaby
    duggarbaby
    September 24, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    It won’t stay at 3300, they will claim they are responsible for the increase revenue with little proof to back it up and start getting more and more. These groups rarely stop at “Fair”

  87. duggarbaby
    duggarbaby
    September 24, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    The group that built up a successful publishing firm over 20 years gets to keep the profits? CALL THE POLICE. Most AAA’s now do pay bonuses, VA’s are last on the list to get them for a reason. Also lets not forget these are publicly traded companies which means the people funding in the background also need their share back.

  88. Domingo
    Domingo
    September 24, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    To be frank here, Kiefer did a much better job than Hayter did in MGS4 and Peace Walker.

    I will say that I do like good voice acting in games, and I too have very mixed feelings regarding this topic. Sucks to hear that there’s so much conflict involved on both sides, hopefully there’s some good that comes out of all of this.

  89. WB1c_Marathon
    WB1c_Marathon
    September 24, 2015 at 7:27 pm

    Between this and how localization is handled I’m really starting to lose respect for a lot of the VA industry. The reason I bring up localization is the guy who wrote in that gamergate snub in Prison School also does work as a VA, you see overlap between their duties. Often times I’ve seen VA’s credited with work as directors or help in scripts. Their outrageous demands and overall lack of professionalism in other areas does not endear me to their cause. If nothing else this will put a lot of egos in check as there are multitudes of others willing to take their place, and perhaps we’ll see a greater variety in voice acting as well.

  90. Syndromic
    Syndromic
    September 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Greedy narcissists always lacked too much perspectives and reflect they are not that good at their jobs. Good riddance if they go away from voice acting.

  91. Juan Andrés Valencia
    Juan Andrés Valencia
    September 24, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Wil Wheaton and Ashley Burch are also part of that list. Prominent and important? lol no.

  92. Zanard Bell
    Zanard Bell
    September 24, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I remember that this was what also happened to the VA of Niko Bellic (GTA IV). He was paid a lump sum with no royalties.

  93. Hey
    Hey
    September 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    There are some devs that don’t even include the original audio (cough cough ATLUS USA cough cough), so I don’t really give a shit if English VAs go on strike. Maybe it’ll be the incentive such aforementioned devs need to get their asses in gear. It’s 2015, dual audio should be an option at the very LEAST.

  94. Jimfear666
    Jimfear666
    September 24, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    oh please… No brit fag. I cant stand them when they talk.

  95. Kain Yusanagi
    Kain Yusanagi
    September 24, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    People care less about the publishing firm unless they falsely make it seem like they’re the ones who actually made the game, as i tused to be- people saw “EA” on the label and thought EA actually made it, not that they just published it. That’s a huge problem with the marketting- the dev studios aren’t given anywhere near enough notice deliberately just so these fucking middlemen can get their cut and then some off the sweat of the devs.

  96. doog
    doog
    September 24, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    How could you be happy with Kiefer? Kiefer not only cost way more, I have no doubt that is why snake is so quite
    in MGS5. On top of that Kefier was mediocre even in the few lines he deliverers he has no more range then Hayter ever did.

  97. Reon
    Reon
    September 24, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    and into the trash he goes
    anyone caving in to the anti gamer politics, even once, no matter how small is dead to me until they take it back

    choose gamers or sjw it’s that simple

  98. Domingo
    Domingo
    September 24, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    Not exactly true, Snake talks quite a bit in the cassette tapes.

    And, well, the game could have benefited from more cutscenes in general.

  99. Benji Dodds
    Benji Dodds
    September 24, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    To be frank, I don’t even know who the top VAs are, but what I HAVE noticed is a disturbing trend that creates short scripts and uninteresting dialogue options in order to save money on the VA budget, which leads to detachment from some of the characters, and can be immersion destroying. If not having to pay out thousands to SAG VAs means writers have to stop being lazy and actually create more engaging dialogue and characters that are not bound to the people voicing them, or rather, the people they do use are more open, then I can only say this can be a positive thing for game design overall.

    As for Troy Baker and Jennifer Hale, they can go fuck themselves, along with Will Wheaton and Felicia Day’s talentless mass of awkward and inane shit, masquerading as “unique character.”

  100. Flamingfighter
    Flamingfighter
    September 24, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Super Interesting developments. I don’t really pay much attention to the intricacies of VA, but my last experience was during the whole Silent Hill: HD collection fiasco with the voice acting since Konami ended up mismanaging all of their resources in addition to the Silent Hill games utilizing voice acting that wasn’t necessarily big name and voice acting altogether in games was still relatively new(ish).

    To see pushback against VAs like I am seeing in a lot of discussions about the topic is pretty interesting.

  101. TurboBorg
    TurboBorg
    September 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    The thing is, there are a ton of shit jobs out there for actors and voice actors. But just like with Hollywood movies the really talented or well connected ones can demand a premium.

    Making smaller studios pay a premium union price for talent means that you’ll end up with a smaller pool of talent and indie type studios less willing to go out on a limb for the small guy. I think the two million copies line is just a way to start setting a precident for secondary payments.

    At the same time, that 2 million copies is a nut buster – and if one of the reasons a game is successful is directly because of the VA talent, I can see them wanting a piece of that pie. But really, IF you’re going to be the reason a particular game is going to be successful you can negotiate your own deal to match what the union is proposing.

    If you’re just some dude phoning it in based on your name recognition then who knows.

    But at the very least, the devs and other artists who have poured blood, sweat and tears into the game had better get this kind of deal before the VAs ever do.

    Personally, I’ve never bought a game based on who the voice actor was and probably never will.

  102. ShinMegamiSensei
    ShinMegamiSensei
    September 24, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Or they can get new talent in that will cost less.

  103. mrwizeass
    mrwizeass
    September 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Communication on a project and MoCap preparation doesn’t sound unreasonable. To Hell with them for wanting stunt pay for screaming into a mic, I say.

  104. krawhitham
    krawhitham
    September 24, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    What about the part where if they do not want to audition for a certain game the game company can block that performer from any and all TV/Movie jobs in the future. How is that even close to fair, If you do not want a job you should not be forced to audition for it anyway. If the game company gets what they want they can kill an actor’s career if they refuse to audition for a silly game

  105. krawhitham
    krawhitham
    September 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Most the the DEV in this article seem jealous they are not in a position to ask for and get royalties too. It is not an easy road but the need to unionize so they can get better contracts. EA should not make billions for a game while the code monkeys get chump change. The Actors are just in a better potion today, the DEVs need to start the long haul of getting in a potion where they can ask for a FAIR share without fearing they will lose employment. If they do not start to unionize the AAA companies will always walk all over them.

  106. Dr.wonderful
    Dr.wonderful
    September 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    “Drop them all,” said one developer. “I couldn’t give less of a shit who
    the actors are that perform game voices. These people are nuts. They
    already get too much money for what is arguably a pretty easy gig. We’re
    working years on single projects for, if we are lucky, fair salaries.”

    This one, this fucking one.

    About time, someone was blunt about this.

  107. dsadsada
    dsadsada
    September 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    [switches to Japanese dub]

    …huh? Something going on?

  108. ironexe
    ironexe
    September 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    If this goes through, it’s going to be us, the consumers, paying the price for it.

  109. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    September 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    This will be really hard.

    As this moment I still saw a lot of gamers in Steam saying that games are to expensive.

    and I’m confident that rasing these dev’s wages will result in raised price for the game .. or a decrease in quality to compensate if they decide to not raise the price … And you know how PC Master Race is very picky when it comes to quality.

  110. XERW
    XERW
    September 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    Agreed. If it means original (JP) audio for translated games, let the have their strike. Heck, cheaper and faster to push to the market (no model lip-sync and lengthy recording sessions). I’m looking at you, Tales-series games.

  111. PixelBuff
    PixelBuff
    September 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    I’m with these devs 100%. Voice acting rarely does anything to affect the quality of an experience, and essentially never affects fun factor. Some of my favorite games of all time had bad, or no voice acting, and my thoughts on those games would not change if they had “big talent” voice actors. Resident Evil would not become more fun if the voice acting as good. Also if it gets rid of cancer like Wheaton and Ashley “Violent Video games are bad unless I’m getting a paycheck voicing them” Burch, all the better. Bye Felicia.

  112. XERW
    XERW
    September 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Indeed! How about his dreams to purchase a Bugati Veyron SuperSport? I mean, if he share the profits to everybody as fair as possible, he could only buy the car after 10 years – as opposed to 3-5 if he hog it all. :D

  113. TheCynicalReaper
    TheCynicalReaper
    September 24, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    GOOD
    The industry needs new blood. I’m tired of having the same voices over and over again! Go away Troy baker I’m sick of you (he did great as Pegan Min, though).

    With strikes comes scabs, and with scabs comes opportunity for newbies to shine! Here’s hoping this kerfuffle lands us new voices for the iconic characters of tomorrow!

  114. XERW
    XERW
    September 24, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    Sadly us “Code Monkey” usually sit on the bottom rung of the paycheck ladder. Directors, Managers took a chunk, lead artists took another, etc, etc.

    But if a feature didn’t pan out or a bug isn’t squashed, you can guess whose ass is on fire. Also supply is greater than demand these days so… yeah…

  115. utera
    utera
    September 24, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Have to agree, when the grunts working on the game do not get royalties.
    People like Peter Dinklage made a mess of Destiny, voice actors do not move units, they do not have star power like the Tom Cruises of the world, so they cannot ask for royalties for participation.
    Many of the great voice work performances in games have been made by unknowns.

  116. ThatDamnCanadian
    ThatDamnCanadian
    September 24, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I hope this means more new blood and new voices. I don’t buy games for voice actors so I won’t particularly miss any of them.

  117. XERW
    XERW
    September 24, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    “coders, animators, concept artists, betatesters and translators” you mean “disposable assets” since we’re pretty much that. Esp. the betatesters, easier (and cheaper) to just do a “Early Access” than to hire dedicated (fully-staffed) QC teams

  118. Radspakr
    Radspakr
    September 24, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This is the kind of thing Games journalism should be covering not Quiet’s boobs make me feel weird in special places but things that are important in the industry things that have a real effect on gaming.
    The treatment of employees, unionising, crunch periods most of this of this stuff is revealed in anonymous blogs that are passed around instead of through the games news.
    Great work in covering this and hopefully we can shine more light on issues like this.

  119. Radspakr
    Radspakr
    September 24, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Steve Blum is on board with this strike and I think Tara Strong is as well these are pretty much 2 of the biggest names and talents in the industry they are the ones who should be a concern if they strike.
    Fuck Wheaton and Burch though.

  120. Audie Bakerson
    Audie Bakerson
    September 24, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    You’re not really feeling it?

  121. buddyluv324
    buddyluv324
    September 24, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    After what Funimations been doing with their dubs especially with Prison School, I honestly cant say I would miss most of the US VAs if they do go on strike.

  122. Zombie_Barioth
    Zombie_Barioth
    September 24, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Yeah, unfortunately the reason we get sort of crap instead of actual genuine journalism is the real stuff isn’t profitable. It doesn’t generate enough clicks.

    Good thing we have sites like this eh?;)

  123. FailedSurgery
    FailedSurgery
    September 24, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Fuck em. I’d prefer if games went back to just text boxes.

  124. Brad
    Brad
    September 24, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Thats the fault of their UNION who set up those rules in the first place.

  125. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 12:05 am

    It’s not going to work. See, the voice actors union has no where near the amount of power it thinks it does.

    Companies routinely hire non-union voice actors for many games.
    Additionally, most prominent voice actors IN the union will do work
    outside of it and either use false names or just remain unlisted.

  126. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    September 25, 2015 at 12:06 am

    They already drove Hennig out of their company, it’s too late for them. All the things I liked about Naughty Dog left with Hennig. (To be fair, Hennig was most of the things I liked about Naughty Dog to begin with.)

  127. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 12:13 am

    It’s not just the developers. The composer for the music doesn’t get royalties either. Should they? I don’t think so. Nor should the voice actors. You got paid in full for your contract. Devs are really the only ones who deserve residuals.

  128. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    September 25, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I couldn’t remember her for the life of me until I looked up what she’s done on IMDB. She’s officially “mildly annoying nondescript voice #5” forever.

  129. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 12:16 am

    “Shut up, Wesley!”

  130. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 25, 2015 at 12:19 am

    Amy Hennig is my favorite writer in gaming. During GDC she had a lecture explaining how all this talk about misogyny is the reason women are scared off of the gaming industry and that, as we all know, it doesn’t really exist since women were a big part of the creation process since the beginning.

    The way ND treated her is unacceptable. It is just speculation, but my guess is that Druckman and Straley wanted to include more PC Bros in Uncharted 4 and had to get rid of the main writer to do so.

  131. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 12:24 am

    Also, when has Wil Wheaton ever been considered a voice actor? I can’t name a SINGLE game he’s been in.

  132. SolidSalamander
    SolidSalamander
    September 25, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Knowing that Wil Wheaton and Sister Burch are leading this, this whole strike business already smells rotten.

    I think the devs’ arguments are pretty sound, considering they have to put MUCH more time and effort into developing the game, while still not getting royalties. And fuck, I’d actually PREFER having the original audio in games that are localized from Japan, and having British voice actors aren’t bad either! So bring it on! Let them go on strike, I sure as fuck don’t care, especially if it means more original audio.

  133. SolidSalamander
    SolidSalamander
    September 25, 2015 at 12:33 am

    That’s another thing too. If companies kneel to these VAs going on strike and give them the extra money/resources, games are just gonna cost even more. It’s bad enough AAA games cost $60, but if companies actually bend, then we’d probably see games going for more about $70~$80 I’d wager. At which point, I’d seriously turn to pirating, because that’s just fucking ludicrous, to have to pay that much for a 6~8 hour game.

  134. SolidSalamander
    SolidSalamander
    September 25, 2015 at 12:36 am

    She’s not just annoying, she’s fucking bland and talentless. Have you seen the trailer for Rise for Persona 4 Dancing All Night? Burch’s work showcased there alone is fucking awful.

  135. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 25, 2015 at 12:39 am

    I guess they could quote mine the interview, but those are some pretty blatant lies about games and gaming. He could of said them in a joking matter, but we still need to keep an eye out.

  136. sanic
    sanic
    September 25, 2015 at 12:41 am

    I have to side with devs here, honestly “talent” like ashley burch tone deaf butchering persona dancing all nights Rise make me think we should consider less VA inclusion.

  137. deadeye
    deadeye
    September 25, 2015 at 1:49 am

    Am I the only one that finds it really strange that the game industry makes as much money as it does, yet even developers are penny pinching? It’s one of the most profitable industries right now.

    Makes me think that perhaps publishers are getting entirely too much money. Also makes me think that absurdly AAA production is really strangling some developers.

    I think voice actors not getting paid enough is an extension of that problem. And it really is a shame. People want better voice acting, and devs are either unwilling or unable to get real talent. People want better dubs, but localization teams pretty much have to get bottom tier amateurs to do it.

    Voice acting is just as important as anything else. It can elevate a game, or make the experience worse. But we obviously need to get to the root of the problem.

  138. ShinMegamiSensei
    ShinMegamiSensei
    September 25, 2015 at 1:53 am

    How the fuck are actors gonna get royalties if they worked in a game from a dev/publisher that’s no longer around or that is a merger. Does that mean Koei Tecmo only has to pay them half?

    The whole thing just seems like a clusterfuck.

  139. Reon
    Reon
    September 25, 2015 at 2:23 am

    but they sound so witty and charming!

  140. llewdrac
    llewdrac
    September 25, 2015 at 2:32 am

    “a stunt coordinator on set (as well as stunt pay for “vocally stressful recording sessions”)”

    LOL

  141. KefkaFollower
    KefkaFollower
    September 25, 2015 at 3:02 am

    I really hopes a new vocaloid like tech appears which allows studios voice characters for a reasonable $ without VA performances.

  142. Jofe
    Jofe
    September 25, 2015 at 3:13 am

    I don’t see voice actors winning this. Gaming can perfectly survive without them.

  143. ShadowFang
    ShadowFang
    September 25, 2015 at 3:43 am

    No way; it’s all or nothing man. Don’t discount all the names in the credits of games you play just because the only one you know – the only one who gives soundbites to websites – is the studio’s “Ken Levine”. You try playing a game without art assets, animations or sound FX and then see how you feel about ’em. “Creative vision” alone isn’t worth much; it takes scores of talented, practically anonymous people to actually make it a reality. People who deserve respect and shouldn’t be considered anonymous

    The work those hundreds of people do for games that NEVER get to speak to writers at IGN or whatever is brutal and requires unbelievable talent. They ALL deserve royalties if royalties were in the equation. Which they should be… it’s just that they wouldn’t be implemented well.

    Instead of a distribution of wealth where the big executives at publishers take pay cuts to spread money around more, you know they’d just raise the prices on games so the bigwigs at your EAs and Activisions could keep their yachts and sh**. That Steve Ballmer guy from Microsoft who used to be in charge of the Xbox Division quit and bought his own NBA team ffs (the LA Clippers); that’s fucking stupid that he makes that much versus the people who actually made Xbox games for MS.

  144. Zack
    Zack
    September 25, 2015 at 4:03 am

    Excellent article! Thank you for writing this, Brandon. It’s creative stuff like this which makes me greatly appreciate this website.

  145. Dago
    Dago
    September 25, 2015 at 5:21 am

    This is what it will end up happening.

  146. ivanchu77
    ivanchu77
    September 25, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Hopefully this means some developers stop bothering with them and instead they bring the games with japanese audio instead.

  147. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Oh god no this won’t end well do Not give any more fuel for trigger-happy SJWs they itching to destroy our hobby & this won’t help.

    What happens if voice actors do carry out that threat & Devs refuse to work with them bringing them in dispute.

    What happens if no British voice acting want to carry on to fill the void.

    What we get is only Japanese dubs so gamers like English dubs will feel cheated.

    This doesn’t look good it won’t be SJWs that destroy video games market it be themseves.

    I hope this can be resolved & yup I’m using the worst case scenario. ?

  148. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 5:39 am

    So it begins see told you so. ?

  149. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Never mind the gloom this will cheer you up I don’t think I posted this before sorry if I did.

    Hey Brandon it been a long time before I did this shit posted pics lol ?

  150. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 5:52 am

    That I forgot to post it in above post lol ?

  151. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Dam I need to continue my gameplay to the end.

    So far kiefer doesn’t speak much unlike other snake did & why is that.

    It not the snake I was expecting & it’s so off putting.

  152. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    September 25, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Whoever is right here all i can see is these idiots are eating themselves up with their greed.I see a crash in the future but not of videogames as a whole but that of AAA games.Videogames don”t need a multimillion dollar budget to be good,jap niche games are a proof of that.

  153. Alistair
    Alistair
    September 25, 2015 at 6:42 am

    Other things I found off-putting in MGS5-PP is lack of kojamia hallmark big cutscenes monents but I’m sure people wanted that way anyway.

    I’m on mission 6 & it goes from 1 mission to the next with-out a lot of cutscenes.

    & does it had to have credits after each mission the whole game is so out of joint disjointed so I gladly say this is his worst game EVER.

    PEOPLE wanted less cutscenes they got it as a expense a poor GAME. & lack of snake speaking kills it for me. ?

  154. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    September 25, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Not played it yet but from what you say the reviews were quite exagerated;as i suspected.

  155. chizwoz
    chizwoz
    September 25, 2015 at 6:50 am

    It’s a job that probably 75% of the population could do reasonably well if given the chance. Ditch them and get some regular people who just have interesting voices. Problem solved.

  156. Kiryu
    Kiryu
    September 25, 2015 at 7:08 am

    That”s a thing i hate about Atlus.

  157. NuclearCherries
    NuclearCherries
    September 25, 2015 at 7:24 am

    I’m with the game devs. They do the most work. This is just voice actors being greedy and not thinking of other parts of the games industry.

  158. Stilzkin
    Stilzkin
    September 25, 2015 at 8:12 am

    B-but Laura Bailey ..

  159. Bayonnaise
    Bayonnaise
    September 25, 2015 at 8:35 am

    Hey I’m all for this “strike.” We made do without voice acting in vidya for years, we can do it again. It’s no big deal.

  160. Perry de Havilland
    Perry de Havilland
    September 25, 2015 at 8:43 am

    Yeah because people with good voices are… rare? Really?

    Hell, I am all for them going on ‘strike’, because I am not being a socialist like Wil Wheton, and so I believe people have the right to try and sell (or not) their labour to whoever they want, and at whatever price they can negotiate.

    I suspect these folks will soon discover what their true market value is ;-)

  161. Mark Samenfink
    Mark Samenfink
    September 25, 2015 at 8:44 am

    The best thing I can see coming from this is what Audie said

  162. Bayonnaise
    Bayonnaise
    September 25, 2015 at 8:44 am

    Everyone agreeing to take part in this shitty “strike” is exactly the kind of people that need to get the fuck out of gaming. Just with that act alone, they’ve proven that the only thing they care about is money. I miss when people got in this industry for the love of games and gamers, not an easy payday. I hope this whole thing blows up in their faces.

  163. Luis Eduardo
    Luis Eduardo
    September 25, 2015 at 8:45 am

    VAs should only get better compensation AFTER the programmers, artists, designers, etc…

  164. Minohoro
    Minohoro
    September 25, 2015 at 8:46 am

    ZING!

  165. Bayonnaise
    Bayonnaise
    September 25, 2015 at 8:47 am

    It’s funny how the VAs only think about ME ME ME ME ME and not about the people that work their asses off 16+ hours a day for possibly years just to get fucked in the end. I’d be perfectly fine with vidya not having voice acting. Might even get better gameplay out of it.

  166. SiliconNooB
    SiliconNooB
    September 25, 2015 at 8:48 am

    If you can lose David Hayter then you can lose anyone…

  167. OverlordZetta
    OverlordZetta
    September 25, 2015 at 9:21 am

    Honestly, most of their demands seem reasonable. Developers having a bad time too shouldn’t invalidate this situation, nor should it be a “us vs them” thing – all these parties work to make these games, we should want them all to get what they deserve as a result, not say because some may deserve it more, no one should have it.

  168. MusouTensei
    MusouTensei
    September 25, 2015 at 9:35 am

    She sounds like the most bored person ever DX

  169. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    September 25, 2015 at 10:01 am

    And the cost of AAA development continues to skyrocket.

    In a way I’m glad this happened. There is a small minority of ‘high profile’ actors who are getting the lions share of the work and now they’re fighting for more money? Ditch ’em. Now’s the perfect time to find some new talent.

  170. EdgyDude
    EdgyDude
    September 25, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Sounds like we’ll be seeing the return of silent protagonists.

  171. Neojames82
    Neojames82
    September 25, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Bored or almost in a comatose state. XD

  172. Jut
    Jut
    September 25, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I am in agreement with the developers here, I’ve always wanted to do voice acting in a game and would happily do it at a reduced rate. I think this is a case of some people’s egos getting the better of them.

  173. bf313
    bf313
    September 25, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Voice acting honestly doesn’t matter all that much to me. I’ve always liked games that have bleep bloop noises for voices like Chibi Robo and other than that I play mostly Japanese games and don’t mind reading subtitles.

  174. Antiswole
    Antiswole
    September 25, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    The thing that the L.A. actors are not considering is that there are large markets for voice acting in Vancouver and Dallas, TX. Vancouver’s rules are not as stringent as L.A.’s and Dallas has become a hub in recent years due to FUNimation dubbing and Borderlands games (which are recorded there except for the Telltale entries). Bigger bonus, Dallas is right to work, there are no unions. What makes these L.A. actors think these AAA studios won’t simply head to those two locations to get their voiceovers?

    Steve Blum was once Marcus Fenix. He lost the role due a similar strike. Epic waited a long time, and then discovered the Dallas voice pool. Christopher Sabat (yes, Piccolo and Vegeta) was cast as Marcus Fenix. Magically, the strike resolved itself, and Epic was charitable enough to bring the game back to L.A. where John DiMaggio got the part.

    Do these VAs really think the developers will be so patient or generous this time, in an industry where costs have risen dramatically since the days of Gears of War? I don’t think so. I think there will be a migration to Dallas and Vancouver this time that will critically injure the L.A. voice pool. The developers know the Vancouver and Dallas pools exist now. They may not wait.

  175. Crizzyeyes
    Crizzyeyes
    September 25, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    As a programmer, I too find it very hard to offer these people any sympathy, even if people I actually like such as Tara Strong are included. They’re not aware of how developing a game is different from a series or film and they don’t realize that they’ve already got some of the easiest jobs. They just know that they’re getting shitty gigs compared to their TV and film gigs. Game develooers can’t just leave and take a better job whenever they feel like it.

    I wanted to become a game developer, but I started meeting people in the industry and reading far too many sentiments such as these. I decided to become a conventional software developer instead for the much better job offers. It still saddens me to this day that I can’t make a career out of game developmemt without shooting myself in the foot, in every regard; less pay, less benefits, more competition, more hours worked, and of course more soul-crushing executives.

  176. Crizzyeyes
    Crizzyeyes
    September 25, 2015 at 12:39 pm

    say again m8, i’ll smack you in da gob, swear on me mum

  177. Fighunter
    Fighunter
    September 25, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    Wouldn’t composers get a share for OST sales and such?

  178. Fighunter
    Fighunter
    September 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Lotsa disrespect I’m seeing.
    Not that I think these requests are 100% reasonable, but one thing really bugs me about them. These seem to be mainly focused on enhancing the conditions of successful union actors. I don’t see what’s in it for the little guys. They risk to lose the most, after all they rely on doing many smaller jobs to keep going, rather than a few projects a year like your Bakers and Blums.
    So what’s anime dub VA#6 gonna do when she’s on strike and not getting income? Honestly, I kinda hope the vote turns out negative.
    Also there’s a game I want coming out in March and if a strike happens now I’m not sure if it’ll be localized by then…

  179. Ryan Barrett
    Ryan Barrett
    September 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Just wanted to say The Last Story and Xenoblade Chronicles has fantastic VAs. And basically they’re people who no one really knows so these famous VAs seriously have nothing but delusious of grandeur at this point. I wonder what Keifer Sutherland has to say? He probably doesn’t give 2 shits about royalties.

  180. ladycakes
    ladycakes
    September 25, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    VAs get credits for directing and script writing because they actually do that work. They go into studio, and sit in the control booth and work with another VA who’s running lines, directing how it’s delivered. If it’s a writing credit, it’s because they’ve slaved for hours writing and re-writing, shouting at their TV to make sure the words go with the flap.

    i work in the industry. Directors and writers (who are also VAs) can be working 14-16 hours a day for weeks at a time on a show. Then they collapse for a few days before starting all over again.

    And VAs may make $50 an hour, or sometimes more, but they may only work 4 hours on a project. Like the girl who did pre-teen Anna in Frozen only got paid $1000 for her work. Not very much compensation for something that brought in millions.

  181. ladycakes
    ladycakes
    September 25, 2015 at 2:11 pm

    Ever lost your voice for a month because of a stressful recording session? I’ve had friends that’s happened to.

  182. Tyrannikos
    Tyrannikos
    September 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Ew, that’s Burch? Rise is the only part of Persona 4 I really like, and her P4D voice work infuriated me. Her voice absolutely ruins the character.

  183. Mimi Ignobilia
    Mimi Ignobilia
    September 25, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    That’s everywhere in the job market. And yes, it’s fair. A job isn’t supposed to always be pleasant.

  184. Pico
    Pico
    September 25, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    At least this wont delay the next Legend of Zelda more

  185. SolidSalamander
    SolidSalamander
    September 25, 2015 at 4:35 pm

    Sure as hell is. It’s pretty bad….and yeah, she only brings shame to Rise as a character,

  186. Phil F.
    Phil F.
    September 25, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Given that’s its still expensive licensing the original audio, that’s just not going to happen.what will happen is companies will just start hiring non-union VAs more, or tv/stage actors for the games with higher budgets.

  187. Phil F.
    Phil F.
    September 25, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    That’s just not going to happen, as it’s still more expensive to license the original moonbabble than it is to just shitcan the people asking for a raise and replace them, possibly with non-union VAs, or stage/tv actors for the higher budget games.

  188. WB1c_Marathon
    WB1c_Marathon
    September 25, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I know that. I was bringing that up because of the recent example of a writer/va putting placing their personal views in their work. I didn’t question how many hours they put into it, but the professionalism shown. The fact that he did this in a dub by one of the biggest dubbing companies sends up major red flags.

    How does this relate to the topic at hand? This is just one of many examples of a VA or writer being overly outspoken about their view, and one where they felt the need to write over the original dialog to inject their own view. There was no context in the original dialog that needed to be changed for cultural context. There was no joke that did not translate.

    I’m sure we’re all aware of how there are certain ways we are expected to act when repping a company or product in a public forum. Not only did he inject his own beliefs into the media, he also went out of his way to insult the part of the fan base who were upset. At the same time I heard no other VA’s speak out about it. I don’t expect any of them to come out in support of GG nor do I care if they hate it, I’m not part of it. It was the lack of professionalism. If he is a reflection of the majority of VA’s and writers, then I in no way want to support or empower these people, which could allow them to get away with further acts under union protection.

    I hope this didn’t come off as being hostile or anything, just some of my thoughts. I do feel for the ones who go out and do their job, and even if the anime or game has elements they despise, they don’t allow that to interfere with doing the job with respect to the source. It’s just the open hostility you see for the fan bases across the mediums as well as the product itself that starts to poison the well.

  189. Fenrir007
    Fenrir007
    September 25, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    If they got paycheck stability, it would already be a good start. Paid overtime, no performance bonuses tied to metacritic or other equally stupid measuring stick, better working conditions. Surely the industry can do that much.

  190. DariusQ
    DariusQ
    September 25, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I can, but only one. He played Abe Lincoln in Codename: STEAM.

  191. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    September 25, 2015 at 9:14 pm

    At first, I kinda agreed with the voice actors. But, the developer comments say a lot. Those people work grueling hours for YEARS and, typically, get bupkiss regardless of how well a game performs and here come the voice actors, who work for at most a week and are already getting vastly better per-hour pay than the people doing the hardest work. So, yeah, write them all off. There’s plenty of talented people who’d give anything to get some gigs doing voice work in games without being this greedy.

  192. Sylveria Shini
    Sylveria Shini
    September 25, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    ugh… please no more british. I had to flip all the Operation Rainfall games in to japanese cause I can’t stand the british. And I’m not one of those people who’s like “original JP dub or GTFO!” The british speak just throws me so much.

  193. Tromboner
    Tromboner
    September 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm

    I think given the sorry state of working conditions for many game developers, this can hardly compare, even if there are real concerns with how the industry treats voice actors.

  194. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Probably.

  195. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Xenoblade shows one of the big problems with voice acting in NA games too – they don’t give a shit about consistency. Shulk in Smash Brothers should have had the same british voice actor he did in Xenoblade, but nope. Recast.

    In Japan they’re serious about consistency. In the US, whatever’s cheapest at the time.

  196. Thanatos2k
    Thanatos2k
    September 25, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Oh, so they can also pay to license the JP voice track? That doesn’t help.

  197. EroBotan
    EroBotan
    September 26, 2015 at 12:52 am

    they can IF the gamers are willing to pay more for the product.

  198. The Great Potato
    The Great Potato
    September 26, 2015 at 11:40 am

    OH NO HE SAID SOMETHING BAD ABOUT MUH GAEMZ!!!

    He was right, you are a child.

  199. Nutty McSpazatron
    Nutty McSpazatron
    September 26, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I’d rather have no voiceovers, with text only and/or simple non-primadonna acting twats doing the voices (if I _must_ have them.)

    I can remember when games had an intro voice and that was it. Get an old guy with a great voice to read the intro to the game and let the rest be text only. :) It might make the games cost less as well (one can dream, right?)

  200. Al
    Al
    September 27, 2015 at 3:07 am

    Baker outright opposes the Sarkeesian narrative and once said that people just need to focus on writing good characters and stories and not worry about BS feminist politics and shit.

  201. Erthwjim
    Erthwjim
    September 27, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Yes I’m hoping there’s plenty of untapped talent. Problem is if you’re not apart of SAG it’s pretty much impossible to get a job in the industry.

  202. Erthwjim
    Erthwjim
    September 27, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Why don’t the voice actors just drop SAG and individually negotiate?

  203. Jesus Zamora
    Jesus Zamora
    September 27, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    The problem is mainly with the very top of the western game industry, mostly EA, Ubi, Warner, and Square Enix spending WAAAAAAY too much money on pretty graphics, which is hilarious while Activision keeps pumping out a multi-billion dollar franchise off a modified Quake 3 engine and dozens of Japanese developers do just fine with stylized anime graphics.

    This is the result of the constant push for photo-realism, especially in the West. It costs a lot of money to realistically render every single nose hair on a bald space marine.

    As to voice acting, I honestly give no shits at all. Most games are better without it, anyway.

  204. Jesus Zamora
    Jesus Zamora
    September 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    And I’d honestly rather have no voice at all than the English VAs for most Atlus games.

  205. Jesus Zamora
    Jesus Zamora
    September 27, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Rockstar’s response when the actor started bitching was the only appropriate response. “You’ll never work with us again, kthxbye.”

  206. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    September 29, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hennig is one of the great names in gaming in general, let alone game writing, and she IS the name in game writers. It makes sense that they’d have to drive her out to include their shit characters. Hennig doesn’t do shit characters.

    Broke my heart she didn’t end up with a team where we could speculate an involvement with a new LoK game, though. Nosgoth is fun, but it’s not really…what anyone wants…

  207. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    September 29, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    Dead Sun looked OK, even if it was a reboot of sorts. I don’t get the reasoning behind Nosgoth. “LOK fans enjoyed a deep single player experience with amazing characters, stellar voice acting and incredible lore – let’s give them a MOBA!” It just doesn’t make sense.

  208. ladycakes
    ladycakes
    September 29, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    Just a note, he’s not protected by a union as he works in Texas. They’re a right to work state, and the companies there don’t have to abide by union rules.

  209. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    October 2, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I think they wanted to widen the scope of the franchise, and at the same time explore some of the different periods of history. I think it would have been better to resist the urge for multiplayer to be the focus (I mean, I know multiplayer is popular, but open world single player experiences are the trend now, jeeze) but I can kind of see where they were trying to go with it. I appreciate the attempt to explore a bit of Nosgoth’s history that isn’t mentioned much beyond “My kind was wiped from the earth like excrement from a boot,” and I also enjoy it for what it is, it just really isn’t what anyone…wanted…

    It’s like a project that started off as a pretty good idea, and then a lot of executives made a bunch of demands that turned it into something that it was never supposed to be, and now we have something that just doesn’t make any sense.

  210. Mr0303
    Mr0303
    October 3, 2015 at 3:01 am

    I agree, but there were so many better options when it comes to introducing the franchise to a wider audience and still keep the old fans happy.

    How about a game where you play as a vampire hunter trying to kill Kain by Moebius’ orders? It could’ve even been a FPS a la Bioshock.

    A turn based RPG with Kain and his generals conquering the land from the Sarafan?

    Or maybe make a cheap 2D platformer with Raziel and his shifting ability similar to Rayman Legends – the lower budget will be a safe bet and people can still show their interest in the series.

    Hell with Nosgoh’s rich lore even a Telltale game would work.

    But a storyless MOBA? These player bases have no intersection on the Venn diagram.

  211. Sonya A. Willis
    Sonya A. Willis
    October 3, 2015 at 3:15 am

    Start using theatrical actors instead.

  212. GEhotpants101 .
    GEhotpants101 .
    October 4, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Can’t argue with any of that. Actually, a FPS LoK game about a vampire hunter sounds really cool. I think it would be super mega awesome to play as a vampire hunter after the events of SR1. Just think about it. The world overrun with vampires, a lone hero with a crossbow and a flame thrower tries to take back Nosgoth after Kain, the vampire king disappears. The ensuing power vacuum in the vampire ranks among the vampires that are still sane. The tenuous truce that could be made between the higher vampires and humans as they try to control the mindless vampire beasts that are overrunning Nosgoth, feeding on anything and everything.

    But yes, we got a storyless MOBA. I’m not saying it makes sense, just that I think they tried (and failed) to get new players interested in an old franchise. I don’t know what the logic was that lead there, but it sure got off track somewhere.

  213. Brad
    Brad
    October 6, 2015 at 6:05 am

    Fun fact, many SNES and GENESIS games came in at 70-80 bucks in the early 90s. Many NES games started at 40-50 bucks before that. Adjusted for inflation that’s prob 100 or 120 bucks a game in today’s money.

    Im always shocked by the people that say they will pirate right away, because games publishers have done a great deal to keep prices DOWN. Things like DLC and more exist just to keep that initial asking price down. I think its just that far too many came into gaming as kids at a time when seeing new games priced at 40 bucks seemed normal. Never knowing the days of CART pricing.

    And realize people were paying huge premiums for games that maybe lasted only 1 hour in some cases.

  214. Datchet The Droid
    Datchet The Droid
    October 8, 2015 at 6:35 am

    DLC usually is not worth the price for what you get, and it normally feels like a money pinch by offering cut content, than adding to the finished product.

    $60 (or £60 if your in the UK) AAA games are slowly conditioning the consumer base to accept microtransactions in said $60 games in order to unlock portions of the game for real money.

    Microtransactions that wouldn’t be amiss from a freemium (free-to-play) mobile games that is design to make you pay, and DLC that feels like content that was cut from the game to make more money from you at a later date, are not keeping the price down as they are a way to maximise profits on products with budgets out of proportion to what the games will realistically make a return on.

    I can see a price increase of around $10 as well as functionality that requires an internet connection that maybe the return of the network pass, which might not come with the game and require you to purchase separately.

  215. Datchet The Droid
    Datchet The Droid
    October 8, 2015 at 6:44 am

    I think that the publishers will drop the names and go for unknown none-union voice actors. It would be cheaper for the publishers and there are plenty of none-union voice actors looking for a break and be willing to work while the unionised voice actors go on strike.

    If the publishers do cave, I see that the big names will get less work while none-union voice actors will be hired to keep costs down. The big name unionised voice actors will still get work, just to a lesser degree that they do now.

  216. Brad
    Brad
    October 9, 2015 at 7:06 am

    The point I was making was in comparative costs. That game that cost 80 bucks in 1990 was 145.50 in 2015 dollars. Its about getting some perspective on the costs compared to older games media VS the fact they kept prices down so far into current times.

  217. Brad
    Brad
    October 9, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Another example. A 39.99 PS 1 game would be about 62 dollars in 2015 dollars. You are in reality are not paying more for games now then back then once you understand how inflation works.

  218. Datchet The Droid
    Datchet The Droid
    October 9, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Except that games that were made in the 1990, wouldn’t even be worth putting to/on physical media (cartridge or disc) in 2015. It would also be far easier to make those games in 2015, as 2D games have pretty much been master by now.

    As games become easier to make and devs become more efficient in making games over time, the costs to make the actual game become cheaper.

    It is the marketing budgets and the heavy investment into making games look as highly polished as possible with a annual/bi-annual release schedule, is what is keeping the costs so high.

    Metro: Last Light apparently cost 10% of what it cost its competitors to make and market there games.

  219. Brad
    Brad
    October 9, 2015 at 7:15 pm

    Actually costs have increased exponentially for making a game each gen. Its harder to make a game now.

  220. Domayv
    Domayv
    October 11, 2015 at 1:10 am

    Actually, there ARE unions in Texas (as well as right to work states since Texas is one). It’s just that union influence in those states is severely reduced compared to union-enforced (i.e. non-right-to-work) states. All right-to-work does is make the person get the union benefits without ever having to pay the union for those. Never does it ever state that it forbids unions.

  221. Edddd
    Edddd
    November 22, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Voice actors? Don’t give rotten eggs about them. Let them quit. The problem was never the actors. It’s coders, graphics and sound artists, gameplay designers and story writers. More focus on any of them, depending on your taste.

  222. Shamz
    Shamz
    March 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    Just never use Blum again and I’ll pay whatever you want.