I am sure we have all dreamt about the prospect of sitting around doing nothing, while getting paid. Well, aside from writing for game web sites, the next best thing has to be voice acting.
In the past, terrible voice acting was one of the benchmarks for the video game industry, right up there with music. In recent years, with titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Stranglehold and Rise of Honor, big-name actors and directors have turned to videogames for a little extra cash and to tell new stories that don’t necessarily have to seen on the big scene. While many actors might do voice work for video game tie-in’s for summer movies, some do it just for the love of games. Actors including Sir Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart, Ron Perlman, Keith David, Lance Henriksen, Ray Liotta, Samuel L. Jackson, Chow Yun-Fat, and others deliver top-notch vocal performances to many noteworthy titles every year.
So what can an actor expect to make when they lend their voice to a wood elf or a super villain? According to Screen Actors Guild rules, voice actors can expect to be compensated $760 for one four-hour recording session. For superstar talent however that number can, and often times does, climb upwards of $750,000 for just a single hour’s worth of work. According to Gamespot, one unnamed actor even received $500,000 for a single voice acting session.
Is this too much for an actor, no matter how well known they might be? Probably a lot of people would say it is. Like CG films, which often times hire AAA talents to voice their works, one has to ask though, how much is it really worth just to listen to your favorite actor, over seeing them? No doubt as the game industry becomes more powerful than even Hollywood, we will begin to see more top-talent actors migrating over to videogames.
Within the next couple years, a million dollar paycheck for a day’s work from reading lines might be sooner then you might think.