Changing Tones: The Value Of Voice Actors In Video Games

Ian Fisher writes: Yet in the end, there is a lot of reliance on actors to essentially put the final coat of paint on an experience and help make what could be nothing more than a pretty picture into something that can immediately draw people in. Now such a thing may not ring true of all games out there since titles such as Journey and Shadows of the Colossus were amazing with either sparse dialog (albeit of a different language) or none at all. But when it comes to the action romps that we play or the shoot bang games that we relieve stress in, a good voice actor can either be the make or break experience and more importantly it can help create an immediate bond that’s almost as impactful as the actual gameplay experience.

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PopRocks3591775d ago

There's some irony in the headline alone. I remember when Sonic fans were flipping out because Sega chose to change the voices in the Sonic games. A lot of the response was how immature and stupid they were being and how it's "just a voice."

Fast forward a decade or so and suddenly the tables have turned and fans see greater value in their characters' voices and develop an attachment to them. It's quite an interesting observation in my opinion.

dedicatedtogamers1775d ago (Edited 1775d ago )

Well said. I've noticed another interesting thing: gamers tend to tout "gameplay over graphics" with a squabble over how much emphasis is placed on which aspect more, but the vast majority of gamers are unaware of the 100s of thousands of dollars - if not millions - spent on voice acting for a videogame. Many of these voice actors are a part of a union, which demands certain wages.

I think if more people were aware of just how costly it is to add voice acting to a game, perhaps they'd be more willing to lose some voice acting in favor of more graphical or gameplay polish.

This article mentions David Hayter not getting the role as Snake's voice in the next MGS game. Yeah, I know we all like him and we all think he would be great. However, for all we know he was being a greedy bastard, demanding extravagant wages or limiting Konami's options with the game. Who knows?

MaxXAttaxX1775d ago

I think we need a better explanation. David Hayter's voice has become a big part of Snake's character. Kinda like Nathan Drake and Nolan North are almost synonymous.

Kojima supposedly said he wanted a new voice actor. But the question remains, why is the Japanese voice actor still the same??

PopRocks3591775d ago


Nah, I doubt it was anything like that. I've listened to many interviews and videos of D. Hayter. He seems to genuinely love the role very much. If anything, I have to give him kudos for allowing this to happen so passively. His instant tweet response, "Well, I had a good run, right?" (or something akin to that).


I think it's more because this is not Solid Snake but in fact Naked Snake, AKA Big Boss who was voiced by Robert Doyle in MGS4 if I'm not mistaken. Big Boss is getting older, so a new voice actor would probably make sense.

I just hope Kojima has the sense to bring back David Hayter should Solid Snake return, possibly in a remake of the MSX games for example.

pr0t0typeknuckles1775d ago

ive always valued certain voices for characters,like if a prince of persia game set in the sands universe comes out,theprince has to be voiced by yuri lowenthal,or if a sly 5 comes out kevin miller,chris murphy, and matt olsen hav to return,and the same thing goes for kevin conroy as batman,and for all the people that say oh its just a voice,i want to see there reaction if nolan north didnt voice nathan drake anymore,or TC carson voicing Kratos.

Donnywho1775d ago

It's either a big joke or... The diehard fans need a better explanation. You made this amazing series, we filled your bank account. We deserve a more detailed answer. Unless of course, it's a joke :/