The voice of Helena Taylor Millions of people have listened to it. We could hear her in the first two installments of Bayonetta, of course, on current consoles and Nintendo Switch, as well as other games in which she had a much more discreet role, such as Dragon Age: Origins and Blazing Angels 2. If you’ve faced PlatinumGames’ witch in Super Smash Bros., you’ve heard her too. Today, the whole internet is your speaker: “I ask the fans to boycott Bayonetta 3”
In a year in which the entire video game industry seems to be more than willing to take out the dirty laundry on the internet, Hellena Taylor shakes Nintendo’s next bestseller through her Twitter account: her absence in Bayonetta 3 and the substitution of his voice for that of Jennifer Halle it was, according to Taylor, due to disagreements regarding her salary for reprising the role of Bayonetta.
It might seem that these types of problems occur almost every week in the face of the big productions of each company. Moreover, it is not an isolated case of video games: Bender of futurama He was about to lose his original voice for the return of the series on Disney + for the same reasons. However, the call for a boycott on the eve by the voice of the character and the launch is something absolutely unusual.
From here lots of legitimate questions open: What has happened? How much money are we talking about? what consequences will it have? Let’s go by parts.
Up to $4,000 to give her the voice of Bayonetta
Hello my name is Hellena Taylor and I am the voice of Bayonetta and I would like to explain why I did not voice the character in Bayonetta 3.
— Helena Taylor (@hellenataylor) October 15, 2022
What seemed to be a simple clarification of events for the fans of the character championed by PlatinumGames ended up being a resounding wake-up call that ended in the call for a boycott of the Nintendo Switch game. Hellena Taylor used her twitter account to address fans of Bayonettato which he lent his voice in the two previous installments, and ask them directly to don’t buy the new video game.
According to Taylor, PlatinumGames not only contacted her after announcing the third installment of Bayonetta, but participated in the casting to reprise the title role. Something that, according to her, is very logical because many years have passed since the last installment and the voices change.
However, Taylor assures that he did a perfect test that he far exceeded and, after the rigorous process, the negotiations and discrepancies began:
- Taylor was first offered a salary that he did not detail and that he defined as “insulting”.
- Then, with the help of a friend, he directly applied to Hideki Kamiya (creator of Bayonetta and producer of the game) a more worthy retribution, being the final offer $4,000.
Kamiya’s response to Taylor, by her account, was warm. She not only remembered how important it would be to recover her voice for the project and for the fans, but she also had fond memories of the first time they both met. However, the proposed new figure was well below that requested compensation and, in Taylor’s words, a living wage.
“This is an insult to me, to the time I’ve spent working on my talent and to everything I’ve brought to the game and to the fans.”
The matter was finally resolved in another way: after years of silence, let us remember that the game was presented in 2017, Bayonetta 3 reappeared announcing his return in 2022. Only this time it would be Jennifer Hale who would lend her voice to the character. As we discussed, cases like this occur often. But calling for a boycott is totally unheard of.
Hellena Taylor Boycotts Bayonetta 3 Release
The changes and substitutions of voices are something that, to a greater or lesser extent, we have become accustomed to in video games. These are artistic decisions that each director must make, knowing that the fans -generally- unrequested changes are taken badly.
Unsurprisingly, Bayonetta’s voice changing in her new game didn’t sit well, but fans of the witch at PlatinumGames had been waiting for news for so long that that was the least of problems. Until now.
The October 15, 2022 began the incendiary thread of four tweets in which the reasons why he would not lend his voice to Bayonetta were exposed, accompanied by an express request that the game not be purchased. In fact, he literally advises that they donate the money they were thinking of spending on the game to charity. The reason: “What they did was legal, but it was also immoral“
“I understand that boycotting [Bayonetta 3] it is a personal choice that there will be those who do not. And that’s fine. But if you are someone who cares about other people, someone who cares about the world around you, someone who cares about those who end up harmed by financial decisions, then I ask you to boycott this game.”
Helena Taylor is fully aware of the value of the franchise of Bayonetta. In fact, she herself does the math for what the saga has generated up to the date of her tweet: $450 million not including merchandising. In fact, he reaffirms the boycott by singling out Kamiya, Nintendo, and the “fat fish” usually.
The big shots get the best and leave the rest of us the crumbs.
Hellena Taylor’s contribution to the character of Bayonnetta is unquestionable. It is part of your DNA. For a whole generation of gamers and fans of hack’n slash, its replacement was bad news. Now replacement has become a problem. A huge one for everyone.
It will be the players themselves who will be directly or indirectly involved in this uncomfortable situation. Which does not mean that there really is a bigger problem: Is the remuneration of voice actors in video games really fair? However, requesting a boycott of a video game in which entire teams have worked in retaliation are big words, and the truth is that once we put our cards on the table, we have to listen to all points of view. Which brings us to the last question we ask.
What consequences will the boycott call have?
The figure of contention: 4000 dollars. The impact caused by these statements: incalculable. It is still early to measure the damage caused by Taylor’s words: Bayonetta 3 It won’t be out until October 28. However, there are many aspects to take into account in this situation.
From the outset we have to take into account the position of PlatinumGames and of the Hideki Kamiya, who is actually the creator of Bayonetta. The one who designed the first game, who is juggling the third game, and who cast Taylor as the voice of Bayonetta. Of course, neither did he make the game alone nor is he the only one who has devoted himself to the project: an undetermined number of PlatinumGames staff has devoted themselves to creating Bayonetta 3.
You may like Kamiya better or worse, and you may not have a particular sympathy for PlatinumGames. But that is so.
The first thing that stands out is that, even without being someone with outspoken words -quite the contrary- Hideki Kamiya has decided to momentarily settle the matter by lamenting and discrediting Taylor’s statements.
Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That’s what all I can tell now.
By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.
— 神谷英樹 Hideki Kamiya (@PG_kamiya) October 15, 2022
Sad and deplorable attitude of falsehood. That’s all I can say now. By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.
Can these types of boycott acts be carried out so explicitly without being harmed? As a general rule, professional voice actors tend to maintain professionalism and involvement in the projects in which they participate -or do not participate- through specific clauses and confidentiality contracts. Above all, in order to avoid leaks. These are processes of mutual agreement.
The case of Helena Taylor is no exception, but also very unique: she has nothing to lose.
I was worried that it would end up on the street. That terrified me so much that once I was even suicidal. I’m not afraid of the confidentiality agreement. I can’t even afford to keep a car. What are you going to do, take my clothes off? If that’s what you want, I wish you luck
Apart from Kamiya, PlatinumGames is fully aware of the importance of Bayonetta’s voice. In statements to Gameinformer they have assured that they themselves have barely noticed the difference and anticipate that fans will be impressed with Jennifer Hale’s Bayonetta.
I understand the concerns some fans have about the voice change at this point in the series, but Jennifer’s performance went way beyond what we could have imagined. I am confident that her portrayal of Bayonetta will exceed our fans’ expectations.
Which brings us to the other indirect loser is Bayonetta’s new voice: Jennifer Halle. So far we don’t even know how her selection process was and, despite Taylor’s statements, we also don’t know the reasons why they ended up choosing her. We don’t even know what he got paid for his work.
However, even wishing her good luck at work and happiness, Hellena Taylor explicitly states that Jennifer Hale has no right to claim to be the voice of Bayonetta. nor to sEsports Extrasher merchandising.
“Now they have a new girl lending her voice [a Bayonetta]. I adore the actress and wish her all the happiness in the world. I wish you all jobs. She has no right to say that she is the voice of Bayonetta. I created her voice. She has no right to sEsports Extrasmerchandising like Bayonetta.”
And not only that, it already anticipates the fans that the boycott of Bayonetta 3 it extends to any other production with Bayonetta voiced by Hale.
“They’ll probably try to do a spin-off with Jenn…don’t buy it either”
From here it is time to open a separate issue: the remuneration of the voice actors. Something that requires a unique effort and sacrifice that Taylor duly broken down into 7 and a half years of training in the United Kingdom and Los Angeles. Definitely, It’s time to plan more and better what each voice contributes and must receive for their contribution to the work. Another thing is that this affects the entire PlatinumGames team without knowing the final result of the game.
Bayonetta is a wonderful character that was born from the talent of great people. She has the best of Hideki Kamiya and every one of the most inspired PlatinumGames workers and also the best of Hellena Taylor. And we’re sure she’ll get the best of Jennifer Hale, too. But, like any video game icon, Bayonetta is solely due to her fans.
A loud voice cannot compete with a clear voice, even if it is just a whisper.. Confucius’ phrase takes on a new meaning in 2022. Hideki Kamiya should be clearer with what happened and expose himself head-on to an outright boycott that we don’t know if it will overshadow the achievements of the new game, but has already muddied the release of Bayonetta 3. One of the games, by the way, that have been long awaited in the entire history of Switch.