With the SAG contract talks coming up very soon, this might become a frequence voice of concern for voice actors in the video game industry. It seems that the top two voices of the recent smash hit Grand Theft Auto IV are not pleased with their salaries, given the game's high publicity (trailers all over the net), high sales and lack of residuals. For their parts, they're not so much blaming Take-Two and Rockstar as their own SAG contract.
Here's what voice actor Michael Hollick, who voiced Niko Bellic, had to say about the issue to The New York Times after being paid $100,000 for 15 months of work with no residuals.
"Obviously, I'm incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity," said Hollick. "But it's tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they're making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don't see any of it." But he goes on: "I don't blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games. Yes, the technology is important, but it's the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies."
"The first GTA4 trailer generated something like 40 million hits online, and that's my voice all over it, and I get nothing. If that were a radio spot, I would have," he said. "Same thing for the TV ads. I recorded those lines for the game, but now they're all over television. It's another gray area."
Michael isn't the only wondering about the missing residuals. Jason Zumwalt, who voiced Niko's cousin Roman, also chose to raise "awareness" on the SAG issue. His method of bringing the issue on the table was a bit more humorous. Watch below and decide if you want to chip into the cause.