Former Bayonetta voice actor clarifies pay offers went up to $15,000 for Bayonetta 3

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The Bayonetta 3 pay dispute between PlatinumGames and Hellena Taylor, the former voice of Bayonetta, has continued, with Taylor now providing more details and clarity over the sums she was offered for her work.

Per her revised account of events, the initial offer from PlatinumGames was for $10,000 in total, which she considered too low. After writing to  Hideki Kamiya, this offer was upped to $15,000 – there’s a typo that this was “an extra $5,0000”, but that doesn’t make sense in the overall context.

She declined this offer and refutes the suggestion that she demanded $250,000, as has been seen floating around the internet. PlatinumGames then offered her $4,000 “to voice some lines” – this figure was central to her original videos.

While this intended as a rebuttal to the reporting last week by Bloomberg and VGC – “Any other lies, such as 4,000 for 5 sessions are total fabrications,” she says – it does actually line up very well with that timeline of events. In fact, both Bloomberg and VGC report that the total fee for Taylor’s services would have been $15,000, before later offering her a smaller cameo role.

Of course, it’s not a particularly good look that Taylor didn’t exactly offer the full sequence of events in the first place, focussing in on the $4,000 as a final offer and then stating to VGC in private messages that the suggestion she was ever offered more than $4,000 was “categorically untrue”.

Anyway, what it really boils down to is worth and how the teams behind video games are valued and paid. If the Bayonetta franchise is truly worth $450 million, then shouldn’t the voice actors be paid more accordingly? I’m not talking full-blown Hollywood star numbers, but $15,000 for such a prominent video game character does seem pretty low to me, even if $450 million is over-egging the pudding. It’s not known how much the new voice of Bayonetta, Jennifer Hale, has been paid for the role.

Regardless, all we’re left with is bitterness from Taylor, and PlatinumGames (outside of Hideki Kamiya’s response) keeping silent on the matter, while journalists dig up any kind of information they can to find out what actually happened.

Speaking of which, after the last decade where journalistic integrity has been regularly called into question, there’s also this:

The most disappointing element is that this has spilled over to targeting people not related to the decision in any way. With that in mind PlatinumGames asked for more respectful discourse last week, and new voice of Bayonetta Jennifer Hale said, “I sincerely ask that everyone keep in mind that this game has been created by an entire team of hard-working, dedicated people and I hope everyone will keep an open mind about what they’ve created.

“Finally, I hope that everyone involved may resolve their differences in an amicable and respectful way.”

Bayonetta 3 is launched later this month, coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch on 28th October 2022.

Source: Twitter

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5 Comments

  1. It’d be good to know what a normal rate for this would be – as it says in the article, it’s not gonna be Hollywood numbers, but personally, I haven’t a clue what a reasonable rate for a VA would be. $15k does seem low, but it’s hard to know how low. On top of that, you’d expect an A-list VA like Jennifer Hale would charge more as standard, so seems like a weird replacement.

  2. It’s all got pretty messy hasn’t it. I don’t think she’s done herself any favours making it all public, it’s not like they hired a nobody to replace her either.

    The 450m figure seems misleading too, I didn’t think the Bayonetta games had done all that well after development costs etc.

  3. That $450m figure does seem somewhat exaggerated. Sales of the first 2 games probably come to around a third of that. So $75m each. Except the first sold a lot more than the second. So maybe about $30m expected for 3rd game, being generous?

    Take off Nintendos share, manufacturing and all the marketing costs, and you’ve still got to pay a lot of people who will be doing a lot more than just reading some words for a couple of days. People who are probably getting paid a lot less. (Or a lower daily rate – they’re probably making more than that over however long it took to develop).

    I’m not impressed by her whingeing about it. And I doubt anyone else that might otherwise hire her in the future will be either.

    • Yeah, there’s some really bad napkin maths to reach $450m, presumably from some sales tracker estimates multiplied by $60.

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