Was Hellena Taylor Underpaid for The Switch Exclusive by Platinum Games?
A long-simmering debate about salaries in the video game business was recently rekindled by a salary dispute between the creator of a critically renowned video game series and the star voice actress for the series.
Hellena Taylor, the original Bayonetta voice actress, explained on Twitter that she did not return for Bayonetta 3 because PlatinumGames only offered her an “insulting” $4,000.
Hideki Kamiya, vice president of PlatinumGames, termed Taylor’s assertions “sad and terrible” because of his “attitude of dishonesty,” but there have been a lot of missing contexts to corroborate the full scope of both of their claims.
Jennifer Hale, best known for her role as Commander Shepard, has been cast as the English VA for Bayonetta.
APlatinum stated that Hellena was replaced since it was “impossible” for her to return to her role as Bayonetta owing to “many overlapping reasons.”
A week and a half later, Taylor took to social media to question Platinum’s version, implying that the studio wasn’t being totally forthright about what transpired.
Hellena Taylor was offered at least $15,000 to appear in Bayonetta 3, but Taylor says the number is all made up.
PlatinumGames reportedly offered Hellena Taylor at least five voice-acting sessions for Bayonetta 3, with each costing between $3,000 and $4,000 for four hours in the studio, as stated by two persons with knowledge of the situation and documents obtained by Bloomberg.
According to the data, Taylor would have profited at least $15,000 after five sessions.
According to these same sources, Taylor countered by demanding a six-figure sum plus residuals for Bayonetta 3. Platinum turned down the offer, although the talks were apparently “lengthy” until a new voice actor for Bayonetta was chosen.
Apparently, Taylor was given a cameo role in Bayonetta 3 for pay for a single session, but she turned it down.
Hellena Taylor, speaking to Bloomberg, called PlatinumGames’ explanation for the claimed payment “an absolute fraud” and stated the company was “trying to save their ass and the game.” The truth is that both explanations are equally believable.
We were unable to independently verify Taylor’s claim that the Bayonetta series had earned $450 million without considering revenue from merchandise, thus the figure may be exaggerated (though we highly doubt this was done maliciously).
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Tendencies That Pose a Threat to Voice Actors in Video Games
Several characters, including Bayonetta, have been recast, and while in some cases this was necessary (for example, when localization actors replaced official actors), there are some reoccurring themes that need to be addressed.
It’s also pretty uncommon to swap out the original voice actors for celebrities or other more well-known personalities. For instance, in Silent Hill, Troy Baker stepped in for James Sunderland, and in Metal Gear Solid, Kiefer Sutherland took over for David Hayter.
Developers may justify these choices as essential to the game’s creativity, while fans may see them as a cynical attempt to capitalize on the game’s popularity.
Hayter, on the other hand, was constantly fighting Kojima to be recast, re-auditioning for the job multiple times and coming dangerously close to losing it to Kurt Russell.
Recasting isn’t the only area where games are favouring celebrities over voice actors; a slew of new games have been given the reins by well-known actors.
Games have often featured celebrity cameos, but newer titles like Cyberpunk 2077 with Keanu Reeves and Star Wars Jedi with Cameron Monaghan show an increasing utilization of celebrities via motion capture to work with both name recognition and acting abilities.
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Platinum Games wanted to recruit Taylor for at least five sessions, each paying $3,000 to $4,000 for four hours in the studio, sources said. That’s $15,000 for the game. Taylor reportedly demanded a six-figure payout and game residuals. After long talks, Platinum auditioned a new actor. Platinum later offered Taylor a one-session cameo, but she declined, sources claimed. Bayonetta is simply one of the countless recast characters, but there are other reoccurring issues that need to be addressed.
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