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 Niko' s still having trouble making money.
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Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 02:26
The New York Times reports that actor Michael Hollick, the voice of Niko Bellic, is dismayed that the Screen Actors' Guild hasn' t set up contracts for video game voice actors that include provisions to earn royalties from television, radio and internet promotions, much less game sales. Hollick earned about $100,000 for 15 months' work, but gets no additional bonuses for being the star of the fastest selling game ever.

“Obviously I’m incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity,” Mr. Hollick, 35, said last week over dinner in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, shortly after performing in the aerial theater show “Fuerzabruta” in Union Square. “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.”

Rockstar declined to comment for this article, but it is an issue that has been hanging over the video game industry for years. On the one hand, through both creative and technical ambition, game makers are infusing their wares with more realistic characters and stories than ever. On the other hand, the $18 billion United States game industry has steadfastly refused to pay royalties to voice and motion-capture body actors along the lines of other entertainment media.

To the actors it is a simple issue of equity: equal pay for equal work, regardless of the medium.

“For instance, our contracts say nothing about the use of voices for promotional purposes over the Internet,” Mr. Hollick said. “The first G.T.A. IV trailer generated something like 40 million hits online, and that’s my voice all over it, and I get nothing. If that were a radio spot, I would have. Same thing for the TV ads. I recorded those lines for the game, but now they’re all over television. It’s another gray area.”

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 02:39
A great voice actor. 100.000 dollars seems reasonable and if he agreed to it then R* can' t be blamed

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 03:31
That' s about 80k a year. Seems like he got a pretty good deal to me for talking into a microphone. The guy seems a little greedy.

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 04:30
I would have done it for 10g' s . He ripped Rockstar off.

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 04:50
And here' s Roman trying to make more cash too :P

I earn about that a year tbh, considering he' s the lead character of one of the biggest games ever, he should' ve got a lot more! If you compare this to films that is...

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 07:49
What I believe he' s trying to illustrate is not that it' s not a fair amount of money, but that the movie industry' s talent makes so much more than the game industry' s talent.

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 09:39
Yeah, the game industry is always trying to claim its rightful position amongst other entertainment media, so they should have the same type of contracts with their actors. It is a little bit sketchy to hire talent to perform in-game, but then use that same content for all these other media.

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 22, 2008 19:05
I would say that 100k is fair, i mean seriously...Actors an shit get way over payed

They need salary caps for actors, just like sports clubs get with the players salary caps....
Agent Ghost

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 23, 2008 03:45
100K is a lot of money, I don' t think it' s in his best interest to bitch about this. Most videogames don' t make crazy money like GTA, but when you' re raking in fist fulls of money the talent should get paid accordingly. It' s not a matter of how hard you work but a question of how valuable is your talent. If a company makes 500 million off a videogame...

Here' s the thing though, in a movie the actors command a much greater share of the responsibility than say a voice actor in a game. It' s the programmers and people making the game content who are the real stars. I would give them bonuses before the voice actors any day of the week. The voice actors are a dime a dozen compared to the developers.

He signed a contract, that' s it. He should be grateful that this game will elevate his status and fame. What was he doing before? Law & Order. He was a nobody. Next time he' ll have more hand when it comes time to sign another contract. It' s the same way with sports and movie actors. First you make a name for yourself then your value increases.

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RE: Niko' s still having trouble making money. - May 23, 2008 03:53
I think you guys should re-read the entire article. He' s not just bitching that he didn' t make enough money.

Contracts for many actors in television, commercials, radio, films, and video games are managed by their union, the Screen Actors' Guild. In every other medium than games, they get compensated for additional promotional things that the studio does... for example, if they act in a movie and then the studio uses a clip of them for the commercials, for the trailers, for clips that appear on the internet, then they get residuals for those because it is using their performance for additional content. Currently contracts for performances in games are not set up in this way. He' s saying SAG should just make the contracts consistent with how they are in film, TV, etc.

Agent, what you' re saying about the programmers and designers is true too. They are the real stars, and they should also get additional royalties when their work appears in commercials and such.
< Message edited by Zoy -- 22 May 08 19:53:59 >

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