The story behind Bayonetta 3’s voiceover and unfair pay seems to be more complicated than Hellena Taylor’s original claims. According to a new report, Platinum Games offered her $15,000, but she asked for much more.
New details of the Bayonetta 3 voice actress controversy
- Jason Schreier provided more details on this story in a new report for Bloomberg. According to two people familiar with the matter, negotiations between Platinum Games and Hellena Taylor could be quite different from what was originally said.
- The Bayonetta 3 developer wanted to hire Taylor for five four-hour sessions, paying $3,000 to $4,000 for each of them, the sources said. This would bring the total compensation for voicing the game to at least $15,000.
- As reported by Bloomberg, Taylor instead asked for a six-figure sum and residuals, leading to lengthy negotiations with Platinum Games. The studio eventually declined and started looking for another actress.
Taylor’s videos have received more than 9.5 million views on Twitter and led to a deluge of calls from fans and pundits to boycott Bayonetta 3. But accounts and evidence reviewed by Bloomberg make it clear that those videos were not the whole story
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 18, 2022
- In an email to Bloomberg, Taylor called this information “an absolute lie”, adding that Platinum Games was “trying to save their ass in the game.” She stood by everything she said in the videos she posted over the weekend.
- Schreier pointed out that he saw documents containing financial proposals mentioned in the report.
- According to three people familiar with Bayonetta 3’s development, the acting costs for this game were higher than other projects because Platinum Games relied on union actors.
- The Bloomberg report was later corroborated by VGC editor-in-chief Andy Roberts, who also cited his own sources. “It’s a more complicated situation that has been portrayed so far,” he noted.
Also, can we please not harass Hellena Taylor, like Hale suffered over the weekend. This is clearly a complex story that’s spilled into the public domain.
If what sources claim today is true, you have to ask why she felt compelled to say what she did and if she needs support.
— Andy Robinson (@AndyPlaytonic) October 18, 2022
- Axios’ Stephen Totilo also heard the same information about the $15,000 offer to Hellena Taylor, but couldn’t confirm it via a second source.
If the $15k is accurate—note that Taylor is denying Bloomberg’s account—there will still be room for debate about what video game voice actors get for big roles. They still don’t get residuals.
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) October 18, 2022
Context of the story
- Hellena Taylor, who voiced Bayonetta in the first two games, said she was only offered $4,000 for her entire performance in the trequel.
- She called Platinum Games’ terms insulting, urging fans to boycott Bayonetta 3. This caused a huge controversy online, with the original video generating 9.6 million views on Twitter.
- Jennifer Hale, who became the new voice of Bayonetta, found herself in the center of this scandal. She hoped that everyone involved in the story may resolve their issues, saying that she couldn’t speak due to the NDA. “My reputation speaks for itself,” the actress noted.
there are lessons in this.
so many lessons.
let’s just be good to each other.
let’s start there.
and sleep. sleep is nice.
— Jennifer Hale (@jhaletweets) October 19, 2022
- As we mentioned in our report, there is a debate over low wages in the industry, as video game voice actors have been trying to get pay raises for years. As of now, the minimum union rate is $902 for a four-hour recording session.
- Voice actors can also get bonuses starting at $75 for the first session and up to $2,100 for ten sessions. However, they still can’t be guaranteed any residuals or royalties based on the game’s sales.