A few weeks ago, we mentioned how Hellena Taylor (the voice actor for Bayonetta) asked fans to boycott the 3rd game in the series due to pay concerns. At that time, she mentioned how she was only paid $4K for her work as the main character in the game, and that she was replaced in the role due to her dissatisfaction with the compensation offered for it.
It was a pretty big controversy at the time, and one which got a lot of attention online, especially in regards to the dismal pay many voice actors received for their work in the gaming industry.
However, it’s since came out there was a bit more to the story than meets the eye. That Taylor’s comments on the pay offered for the role of Bayonetta weren’t exactly a hundred percent accurate here.
That’s because according to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier (and corroborated by sources for other news sites like Video Games Chronicle), PlatinumGames didn’t in fact offer her just $4k total for the role. No, instead they apparently offered at least five sessions for $3-4K a pop. This would put the total for the game at closer to $15-20K, not the $4K originally mentioned.
Where the $4K Taylor mentioned comes in is after that, where after she turned down the role, they offered her a cameo appearance in the game instead. That role would have been filmed in one 4 hour session, at the usual rate.
Additionally, they also say the reason Taylor declined the role was because she wanted a six figure payment for playing Bayonetta in the game, along with residuals. This was seen as too high of an offer, and led to the recasting of the character.
So if these sources are true, there’s definitely more to the story than we initially thought. That the story here isn’t one of a company screwing over a voice actor with an unreasonable offer, but the actor wanting more money than could perhaps reasonably be expected for a cult classic like Bayonetta.
But of course, short of seeing contracts and documentation, it’s hard to be certainly who’s telling the truth here. Taylor obviously denies Platinum’s account of the situation and stands by her Twitter videos, whereas folks at Platinum have their version instead.
Regardless, it’s worth pointing out the developments in this story nonetheless, and that controversies such as this one are often not as one sided as you may otherwise think. So yeah, we apologise for not doing more research into the story before publishing it, or taking this time amount of time to provide an update, and we hope you forgive our recklessness overall.
A Tense Pay Dispute Overshadows Nintendo’s Upcoming Bayonetta 3 (Bloomberg News)