Several voice actors from the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV have come forward to politely point out that, while Rockstar Games has sold $600 million worth of copies in three months, they have only individually made tens of thousands of dollars. For example, Michael Hollick, the voice of leading GTA criminal Nico Bellic, made about $100,000 over the course of 15 months worth of work, at about $1,050 per day, with no residuals.
Hollick said in the Times today that the Screen Actors Guild should negotiate standard contracts for videogames, royalties included. The guy who voiced GTA's Irish thug Patrick McReary agreed with him.
Their statements reek of a PR play by the guild, which is about to start contract negotiations with Hollywood studios. They also ignore the often grueling work of programmers and graphic artists involved with the game (cast listing), who would surely want their own residuals.
But the voice actors' well-mannered bitterness is understandable. I'd be upset, too, If I had missed out on a slice of what's sure to be a $1-billion-plus payday.
And no one wants to have to rent himself out to fans, like the guy who voices Roman is offering to do in this cheeky video (excerpted from this longer clip):