The actress Hellena Taylor, who voiced the main character of the first two parts of Bayonetta, did not participate in the development of the sequel, which is being released on the Nintendo Switch – a well-known character in Bayonetta 3 was voiced by Jennifer Hale (she participated in the voicing of many video games, including Captain Shepard in Mass Effect).
Yusuke Miyata – the game director of the Japanese game developer, PlatinumGames studio – explained this decision in early October by “various overlapping circumstances made it difficult for Hellena Taylor to reprise her role.”
But it turns out that the “various circumstances” actually was the shockingly low fee offered to the actress — only $4,000. Helena Taylor announced this on her Twitter in several video clips.
— Hellena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 15, 2022
She considers such an amount insulting for such a large and significant role – indeed, her voice became a kind of “business card” of the heroine of the game and contributed to her popularity to a large extent (the total circulation of the first two parts, according to approximate estimates, exceeds 3 million copies). And everyone expects Bayonetta 3 to be a huge financial success as well. So Hellena Taylor is calling on fans of the first parts to boycott the sequel and instead donate the money they were going to spend on Bayonetta 3 to charity.
The actress also points out that it’s actually part of a bigger problem, and she’s standing in solidarity with all the other voice actors out there who also aren’t getting paid enough for their talent.
Nintendo, which is the publisher of Bayonetta 3, is currently not commenting on the situation. PlatinumGames has also not yet released an official response to Helena Taylor’s statement, but the game’s executive director Hideki Kamiya (whom the actress once contacted but received no response) has already accused her of false statements and immediately added the warning “BEWARE OF MY RULES”. This is clearly about his readers, whom he calls “insects” and willingly blocks for the slightest criticism in his direction (and even just for using the English language).
Hellena Taylor’s statement did not go unnoticed: other voice actors also began to share their experience – for example, Sean Chiplock, who worked on another Nintendo game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
I was paid approx $2,000-$3000 overall because it was based on the total number of hours in the studio (which was higher because of voicing 3 characters in a single game).
I made MORE from voicing Spade/Dail in Freedom Planet 1 because *that* generously gave me sales royalties. https://t.co/37tDNdshOU
— Sean Chiplock NEXT @ Alamo Hero Con (Schertz, TX) (@sonicmega) October 15, 2022