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Bellic voice actor stiffed on GTA IV royalties

Wednesday, 21st May 2008 16:52 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Michael Hollick, the voice of GTA IV’s Niko Bellic, has received approximately $100,000 in pay from Rockstar for 15 months work and will receive no royalties at all, according to this New York Times piece.

Says the paper, “Had this been a television program, a film, an album, a radio show or virtually any other sort of traditional recorded performance, Mr. Hollick and the other actors in the game would have made millions by now. As it stands, they get nothing beyond the standard Screen Actors Guild day rate they were originally paid.”

“Obviously I’m incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity,” said the 35 year-old Hollick.

“But it’s tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they’re making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don’t see any of it. I don’t blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games.

“Yes, the technology is important, but it’s the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies.”

Much more through the link.

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20 Comments

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  1. Whizzo

    Jason Zumwalt (who plays Roman) has a taken a different tack to try and cash in on his newly found fame and bitch about the lack of residuals http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH2nirEuO-k

    #1 6 years ago
  2. DrDamn

    Only $100,000 for 15 months eh? /smallest violin. If you didn’t want the work then don’t take it. The talent behind games is the devs / designers – that is the major part of the game which people are paying to play. If there is something which needs sorting it is making sure they get a fair cut of the money.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. patlike

    Jesus Christ :o

    #3 6 years ago
  4. CastellanSpandrell

    “Bellic voice actor stiffed on GTA IV royalties” means “GTA actor gets exactly what he was contracted for”

    Shut your whining 100 grand for 15 months ‘work’ is pretty good especially when your work is hanging around a studio being recorded all day.

    “I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games.” Yeah right, it’s your performance that’s behind all these sales eh?

    #4 6 years ago
  5. G1GAHURTZ

    ““Had this been a television program, a film, an album, a radio show or virtually any other sort of traditional recorded performance, Mr. Hollick and the other actors in the game would have made millions by now.”

    Yeah, exactly! IF

    It’s not a TV show, and he didn’t put the biggest contribution into the game, did he!

    People don’t buy games to hear a certain voice, like they watch tv to see a certain actor.

    Duh!

    #5 6 years ago
  6. wz

    Instead of ranting about the money he did get, try to follow the argumentation laid out in the article:
    “Had this been a television program, a film, an album, a radio show or virtually any other sort of traditional recorded performance, Mr. Hollick and the other actors in the game would have made millions by now”
    – that’s why it is an interesting situation.

    And I too cannot see how dubbing a game differs from dubbing anything else.

    Which means it’s absolutely correct to pay him once for his work, afaik people who dub foreign language films aren’t paid royalties either.

    #6 6 years ago
  7. El_MUERkO

    give him more cash you meanies!

    #7 6 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    Voice overs in games are supplementary and non-essential. I want to see the real creative forces behind games get a good deal before you even look at whether voice over people are being badly treated. The sales of the game are, and always will be, driven by the gameplay, not the cut-scene.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. morriss

    I’d like to see if voice actors for Dreamworks’ films would be happy with a set fee and no royalty cut.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. dtredrea

    The poor struggling artist…

    If you want to make money from video games– do it the same way everyone else does. BY MAKING THEM!

    Anyone else hear that the South Park guys do their own voices because they don’t want to deal with actors? … go figure

    #10 6 years ago
  11. morriss

    I think we should just replace the Simpsons cast and Family Guy etc., as their voices add nothing to the experiences, it’s all the writers. Oh wait, they get fuck all money too.

    #11 6 years ago
  12. mart

    If you want royalties, make sure it’s in your contract. Simple.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. morriss

    It’s not simple when you’re member of a union, mate and contracts are ‘standard’, pre-agreed fare by your union and your employer.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. mart

    Ah well. I mean, not to overshadow his obvious talent or to say he’s not deserving or anything, but like he says – it’s the union’s problem union isn’t it? Surely these guys know what they’re getting before they take the gig.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. morriss

    But still, he’s got a right to feel a bit gutted. He doesn’t deserve any more than he gets though.

    #15 6 years ago
  16. pjmaybe

    I wonder how much that fat c*nt Gervais got for his crappy routines.

    #16 6 years ago
  17. TJ

    I think it’s a pretty piss poor state of affairs – next to no one sees royalties in this industry, and it’s the only creative industry where that’s the case. I’ve had maybe one game where I’ve seen royalties and that’s about it.

    It’s obviously true that the designers, writers, artists etc should be seeing royalties before the actors, since they make a larger contribution, but all creative personnel should have the right to see some form of royalty. The games industry is just slow to catch up.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. Chinster

    Didn’t all the original star wars actors get stiffed on royalties?

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Whizzo

    Alec Guinness could see that it was going to be a big hit and negotiated a 2 percent royalty on the gross, clever chap Sir Alec.

    #19 6 years ago
  20. Tiger Walts

    IIRC, the film makers managed to secure the rights to use the actors’ likenesses for making the toys too. Something that the actors would have had to have relinquished in their contract.

    #20 6 years ago