So I've been trying my hardest to think of good points to bring up about my views on sound in games and as usual I was trying to think outside the box and try to be a bit original as we covered this in year one. Don't know if I have been successful but I want to talk about voice acting. Voices are still sounds and that what I'm sticking to, it's my blog!
More and more games these days are getting "celebrities " if they can be called that, to do voice acting for character roles. As a lot of things go with the games industry this is probably best known in the film industry with animated films. Disney being the main trend setter with the likes of Robin Williams in Aladdin, Tom Hanks in Toy Story and from other studios most recently films like Rio with Jesse Eisenberg (the guy from The Social Network and Adverntureland) and Rango Voiced by Johnny Depp.
So why do films studios want to get A list celebrities to voice their characters. Well the obvious thing is Publicity. Back in the day when Disney were re-launching there feature animation division, they quickly realised they couldn't send their animated characters to appear on TV to plug the films. But now with its popularity and people basing film quality with how big a star you have playing your character roles. The creators of these films are using their celeb status to get people to watch the film. Look at Rango the posters for it have "Johnny Depp is RANGO" on them.
So how does this relate to games I hear you say. Well I feel the idea is still in its infancy when it come to games. Maybe it's because allot of A list stars just aren't into playing games and don't have any interest in voicing for any. Or it's because the film industry can offer more money. If that is the case then I would explain the reason why celebrities we have seen voicing for games character so far wouldn't exactly fit into the "A list" category. Fits more into celebrities desperately looking for work or the film industry won't have me but the game industry will category.
Let me give you some examples. I like to think I'm pretty good at spotting these in games and films. It's a good little game. God I'm such a geek! Anyway most recent one and probably the one that got me thinking about this is Portal 2.
Wheatley the little round robot eye that help you at the start is voiced by Stephen Merchant.
Sam fisher, Splinter Cell is none other than Michael Ironside.
Liam Neeson in fallout 3.
Samuel L. Jackson Officer Tenpenny, GTA SA.
What about Sam Worthington, Avatar, Terminator Salvation, Clash of the titans. He's a pretty big star. Especially after his role in Avatar. So it's good to see him in the best selling game of all time (not necessarily the BEST game of all time!) Call of Duty Black ops. If you haven't guessed it yet he is Alex Mason.
Ok so I admit some of these are pretty big stars. But you got to ask yourself at what point in their career did they need or maybe want to do voice acting for games. I'm just going to keep telling myself it's because they all love playing games.