Online games news Tedious Retro Gamer, 16-10-2022
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While there are dozens of smaller and bigger dramas going on right now, from Twitch questionable ideas, TwitchCon, Phasmophobia discord, Mizkif suspicions, cheating in chess and many, many more, there is one that is so stupid that it is hard to ignore.
Bayonetta 3, anticipated game that will premiere on 28th October 2022 on Nintendo Switch, hit the headlines for unusual reason. English voice actress, Hellena Taylor, who was giving her voice to the main character of the games in the series so far, would not return for third title and will be replaced by Canadian actress Jennifer Hale. According to Yusuke Miyata, director of Bayonetta 3, it was due to "various overlapping circumstances", which explains absolutely nothing.
Taylor on the other hand used Twitter to communicate the reason why she turned down the role. According to her she was offered... four thousand dollars. No, not fourteen, not forty, four thousand dollars. And not for session, for the whole thing. I can’t say that I’m an expert in the matter, nor I know how much lines does this character have in the game, but since it is main character in highly anticipated game I can’t say it sounds like a lot.
On the other hand Taylor herself decline to take the job for 4,000 USD, so where is the drama you ask? That is the stupid part - on both sides. Taylor brought in her statements that the games earned 450 million dollars in the past, so she being offered such small fee is an insult. While she might be right, she turned down the offer of producers, putting aside wherever it is or isn’t fair payment. That’s exactly how free market works - she was offered a part, she felt it’s not good enough payment, so she turned it down and producers took someone else.
Unfortunately she continued the drama - she argued that she "created that character voice" (which stretches the term "creating" to the extreme) and Platinum neglected to pay her a living wage. I’m not exactly sure what kind of arrangement she had with Platinum Games, but since when it is company’s problem to support financially a freelance artist? Freelance means you are hired to do a particular job, you are not an employee of the company. And she topped it with appeal to her fans to boycott the title. Well, good luck with that.
So what would any grown-up person do to address Taylor’s tweets? What else? Platinum Games took the matter to the court. No, sorry, they took it to the Twitter, which is a perfect way to have a grown-up conversation. Hideki Kamiya responded with "Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now." That would not be that bad response only if... he wouldn’t start to block users that don’t agree with him and end up removing his Twitter account. Yup, that worked perfectly - short, mindless and drawing even more attention to the drama.
It really is hard to imagine how pathetic this drama is - we have on one hand a huge company with lots of money, which expects people to work for them for peanuts, and on the other a voice actress with huge ego, who thinks 7 years of improving her talent is a long time. Dear lady, I have been improving my skills for last 20 years, but people who hire me as freelancer pay me for my work, not my life story. And as for Platinum Games and Nintendo, what can I say? Just pathetic...
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