Uncharted Voice Actor Doesn't Want Royalties

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Uncharted Voice Actor Doesn't Want Royalties

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Nolan North, who provided the voice of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 1 & 2, apparently doesn't want royalties for his work, believing his contribution to be relatively minor.

I don't know if Nolan North has a middle name, but if he does, I'd bet it's something like 'Ubiquitous', because the man turns up everywhere. With credits that include Uncharted 1 & 2, Assassin's Creed 1 & 2, the latest Prince of Persia and Dragon Age: Origins, he's certainly not short of work; which might explain why he's not particularly concerned with getting royalties for his work.

"There's no pressure when going in for an audition now, since I've worked on such big games," he said. "In all fairness, hundreds of people are working 12 hour days for several years to make a game, so it's unfair for me to expect residuals, given the amount of work I contribute."

Wages and royalties have long been a point of contention for voice actors, with the SAG having recently rejected an unfavorable deal for its member from the videogame industry. North's comments sound all good and humble, but it's easy to be magnanimous when you've got a relatively steady stream of work and for the actors faced with the prospect of performing twenty voices in a single session, must be more than a little difficult to hear.

Source: Joystiq

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Yeah, when they start putting voice actors on 'crunch time' for months at a time I'll say they're underpaid.

cobrausn:
Yeah, when they start putting voice actors on 'crunch time' for months at a time I'll say they're underpaid.

Hey, the devs being underpaid doesn't mean that the VAs can't be underpaid as well.

Well I'm getting so damn sick of his voice anyway....

Also, unfortunately, my reaction is to automatically assume he's doing this for the press.

About time someone said that. Then again, it's coming from someone who could probably use dollar bills for kleenex (using a Canadian Loonie would hurt), so it doesn't mean too much. Still, nice to see a voice actor admitting the people who make the actual game are important.

It could just be me, but "Uncharted Voice Actor Calls Royalties Unfair" gives a whole different impression than "Uncharted Voice Actor Feels Unworthy Of Royalties". I read the title as if the guy wants a raise.

Can't say how much of a contribution a voice actor brings to a game, though. On one hand, a good game can succeed in spite of bad voice acting, but on the other, good actors are essential to setting the mood to a game.

JRCB:
About time someone said that. Then again, it's coming from someone who could probably use dollar bills for kleenex (using a Canadian Loonie would hurt), so it doesn't mean too much. Still, nice to see a voice actor admitting the people who make the actual game are important.

What makes you say voice actors for games are swimming in money?

I "don't if" either, if it makes you feel any better.

Grammatical foibles aside, while it's nice to see someone who's successful take a step back and question why, it can't exactly resonate with the other, far less successful ones all that much.

Nolan North sounds like a pretty cool dude from this. But I still rank Jennifer Hale as my favorite professional voice actor/actress.

LTK_70:
It could just be me, but "Uncharted Voice Actor Calls Royalties Unfair" gives a whole different impression than "Uncharted Voice Actor Feels Unworthy Of Royalties". I read the title as if the guy wants a raise.

Can't say how much of a contribution a voice actor brings to a game, though. On one hand, a good game can succeed in spite of bad voice acting, but on the other, good actors are essential to setting the mood to a game.

JRCB:
About time someone said that. Then again, it's coming from someone who could probably use dollar bills for kleenex (using a Canadian Loonie would hurt), so it doesn't mean too much. Still, nice to see a voice actor admitting the people who make the actual game are important.

What makes you say voice actors for games are swimming in money?

I looked at his list of games that he worked on. They're fairly popular titles. Probably not as much money as I said, but still much more than I make.

This guy is kredit to industry.

Nolan's got more work than a $5 hooker during shoreleave, he can say stuff like that, but when you've got people like Michael Hollick (the voice of Niko Bellic in GTA 4) who was paid a one-off fee then didn't get any of the millions the game raked in, it's pretty easy to say royalties are unfair. Sure, developers put far more effort into making the product itself, but most of these voice actors have their profession in mind, and probably want to move on to screen acting.

And if you don't want your royalties Nolan, donate it to charity!

Even if it is somewhat lessened from the fact that he does have a major source of income and is fairly well off, it is incredibly refreshing to see someone who believes his little contribution wasn't the part that made the game great. Now, if a few other selected, overpaid jobs can do that also, we could dramatically reduce the price of what a game costs.

In my view he made the game VERY enjoyable.

He chit chatted here and there and commented on the situation. I like him, his voice isn't annoying, he's actually good at it and he have pretty good lines too.

If he thinks he's getting paid to much, well no big deal.

Royalties for voice actors in general should be removed. They don't write the work. They don't play any instrument. They should, like artists, be paid by the piece.

That's desent of him.

So this is the voice of 2009?

What does this teach us? Almost anyone can do voice over work. He practically said it himself.

Well say what you wan't he sounds like a nice guy.

Earthmonger:
Royalties for voice actors in general should be removed. They don't write the work. They don't play any instrument. They should, like artists, be paid by the piece.

But what about musical artists? Film artists?
They are paid for each *copy* of their work (...theoretically). That's the principle here. It's like the royalties from each sale of the game are the equivalent of funds from purchased movie tickets.
Not that this is a necessary step (it can, of course, be salaried or lump sum-ed), but it's not totally insane. Screen actors rarely get royalties (though some negotiate for it).

Respect to him. I do believe he should get royalties based on the contribution he made, a bit less than the developers. But then I also believe the devs should too and that's never going to happen.

Logan Westbrook:
I don't if Nolan North has

You are now aware...

Onyx Oblivion:
Nolan North sounds like a pretty cool dude from this. But I still rank Jennifer Hale as my favorite professional voice actor/actress.

Jen Hale... *dreamy sigh*

Back on the topic, I say good on him. He didn't have to reject the royalties and no one would think less of him for doing so, but I think it's nice to see a voice actor say the developers deserve it more. In terms of the actual input to the game, his contribution will be minor, but it's the output where his contribution counts the most. And of course, with titles like Uncharted and Dragon Age on his resumé, I doubt he'd have to look far for work.

I noticed someone say royalties are unfair and used the VA of Niko Bellic from GTA IV as an example. I know little of GTA IV's development and Rockstar's practices, but the VA would have signed a contract which would have stated no royalties. For all I know (or anyone else, for that matter), he may not have even asked for them or denied them on the spot.

Anyhoo, back to dreamy thoughts of Jen Hale's voice in Mass Effect...

Onyx Oblivion:
Nolan North sounds like a pretty cool dude from this. But I still rank Jennifer Hale as my favorite professional voice actor/actress.

Yes, she is.

Lord_Panzer:
I "don't if" either, if it makes you feel any better.

Grammatical foibles aside, while it's nice to see someone who's successful take a step back and question why, it can't exactly resonate with the other, far less successful ones all that much.

Yea, as someone who wishes to work as a voice actor one day this is kind of a slap in the face. That is to say, I want to slap this guy across the face. Sure the developers are important and work in unfair conditions, but moves like this set the stage for future generations of voice talent to be treated as dirt. Come on, Nolan! Take pride in your work!

sounds like what Peirce once said

Onyx Oblivion:
But I still rank Jennifer Hale as my favorite professional voice actor/actress.

She is pretty good.And i love her voice.She is one of the main reasons why most of my Shepards have been females.

LitigationJackson:
This guy is kredit to industry.

Good one there.

I don't really think too much about voice actors, unless I know them from previous work: e.g., Billy Murray appearing voicing Price in MW1 and MW2 seems funny to me as he used to be a wideboy copper in The Bill.

Hmmm.... I think this might just to make hime look the good guy.

What he didn't say is that instead of royalties he prefers to be paid with a giant oversized cardboard cheque that has plenty of zeroes on the end.

Look at the number of games he's done VO work for. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0636046/

Yeah, he's worked on every game ever made. It's likely he knows how hard these guys work, (he's probably good friends with a lot of them) and has seen their greasy visages reflecting monitors full of meaningless code. Their families? Forgotten. Health? Gone. Social-life? Didn't exist to begin with, but it'd be gone too. All in the attempt to get a game made in time so some EA or Activision suit can say "We have a solid lineup this holiday season."

So I think this is a genuine comment from him. Voice actors can break a game, but it takes a ton of geeks to make one.

I would love to see voice actors like him get some more money. Its because of them that make the characters so memorable

Well that's awfully darn nice of him.

Onyx Oblivion:
Nolan North sounds like a pretty cool dude from this. But I still rank Jennifer Hale as my favorite professional voice actor/actress.

*nods* You've got good taste. My favorite's Grey DeLisle, though she doesn't really do videogame work much. She was the voice of Azula in 'Avatar'. (the kickass series, not the kickass film)

EDIT- Oh! And before I forget, she was also Jeanne in Bayonetta, Nassanna Dantius in Mass Effect, Harley Quinn in Lego Batman, and Brianna the Handmaiden in KOTOR 2.

Well, that was nice of him

sephiroth1991:
That's desent of him.

Ill say. I mean he must have another reason behind him for it, but, I think its good of him to say that. Somewhat speaks about his personality

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