Celebrity Voice Actors Good Idea or Bad Idea

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Edited 2 years, 4 months ago

Poll: Celebrity Voice Actors Good Idea or Bad Idea (57 votes)

Good Idea 26%
Bad Idea 32%
Indifferent 42%

Why are publishers so obsessed with celebrity voice actors? IMO they're a waste of money that not only add little to no value, but end up sucking and end up making the game worse.

Unless this person is a celebrity because of voice acting why do they spend so much to put them in the game? Half the time when I hear a celebrity voice actor a person you randomly pulled off the street could probably do just as good of a job with a fraction of the cost.

Case in Point Ghost from Destiny, does anybody even care Peter Dinklage is Ghost? Now if they need to call him in fix the bad writing it's going to take away money that could be spent elsewhere.

Does anyone here think he'd do a better job than say Ellen McLain who is just known for voice acting and would cost half as much?

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#2 Posted by LJS9502_basic (157702 posts) -

Increases the cost of the game....unnecessarily.

Avatar image for Alucard_Prime
#3 Posted by Alucard_Prime (6954 posts) -

It depends who it is......if it's someone like Patrick Stewart, then it's fine. If it's just a big star who barely did any voice work before, just there to boost sales.....then that kind of sucks.

Avatar image for uninspiredcup
#4 Edited by uninspiredcup (20228 posts) -

David Cage thinks it's a good idea.
Which means it's a bad idea.

Avatar image for effec_tor
#5 Posted by Effec_Tor (847 posts) -

Waste of money.

Avatar image for yokofox33
#6 Posted by yokofox33 (30774 posts) -

Ehhhh, it depends I guess. I love Peter Dinklage, but I don't necessarily think he was needed as Peter Dinkbot.

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#7 Posted by freedomfreak (48813 posts) -

I wouldn't say it's a bad idea, it's just unnecessary.

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#8 Posted by DEadliNE-Zero0 (6444 posts) -

Terrible idea........................unless it's Morgan Freeman

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#9 Edited by TheEroica (16434 posts) -

I don't mind the voices but I rather dislike the new trend of the actors/actresses faces being placed in the game. How many pop culture outlets must we see the same faces? Blah. I don't want games to feel like the movies.

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#10 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -

@deadline-zero0 said:

Terrible idea........................unless it's Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman doesn't count. If kittens are born just from you speaking you get a by. (grammar check I'm really not sure if I'm using by correctly)

But really all joking aside is there anyone out there who's buying decisions are effected by having celebrity voice actors in a game they might be interested in?

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#11 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -
@freedomfreak said:

I wouldn't say it's a bad idea, it's just unnecessary.

But if it's unnecessary it's a waste of money, and when is a waste of money not a bad idea?

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#12 Posted by stizzal13 (609 posts) -

@LJS9502_basic said:

Increases the cost of the game....unnecessarily.

It depends on the skill level of the voice actor and the cost. Having seen games with bad voice acting, it can certainly help a game in some aspects. But, it has to make sense from a budget stand point.

Avatar image for Shielder7
#13 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -

@stizzal13 said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Increases the cost of the game....unnecessarily.

It depends on the skill level of the voice actor and the cost. Having seen games with bad voice acting, it can certainly help a game in some aspects. But, it has to make sense from a budget stand point.

That's sort of the point tho, just because you're a good actor doesn't mean you're a good voice actor and a lot of these celebrities they use to try and boost sales can't voice act worth shit.

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#14 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -

@yokofox33 said:

Ehhhh, it depends I guess. I love Peter Dinklage, but I don't necessarily think he was needed as Peter Dinkbot.

LMAO that's too funny. Good Job.

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#15 Edited by starwolf474 (983 posts) -

Usually a waste of money, but every penny that the Portal 2 developers spent to get Stephen Merchant to voice Wheatley was worth it.

It was also amusing to hear Kevin Sorbo as Hercules in God of War.

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#16 Posted by freedomfreak (48813 posts) -
@Shielder7 said:

But if it's unnecessary it's a waste of money, and when is a waste of money not a bad idea?

I don't know. Depends if it's in their budget. Not to mention they can get people go "It haz Kevin Spacey!!".

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#17 Edited by LegatoSkyheart (28522 posts) -

I thought Jack Black and Hugh Jackman did excellent Jobs playing their characters in Brutal Legend and Xmen Origins Wolverine.

Robin Downes and Jean Reno were Excellent in Onimusha 3 too. (apparently Robin Downes is also Miller in the New Metal Gear.)

ALSO this guy is in Payday 2.

In case you're wondering, YES that is Giancarlo Esposito, other wise known as Gustavo 'Gus' Fring from Breaking Bad.

Is it a waste? I don't think so, even though that scene was just an opening for the game, I thought it was great and just shows how far games have gone. I think having Celebrities in games just makes the medium better in my opinion. Helps Gaming grow.

Avatar image for deadline-zero0
#18 Posted by DEadliNE-Zero0 (6444 posts) -

@Shielder7 said:

@deadline-zero0 said:

Terrible idea........................unless it's Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman doesn't count. If kittens are born just from you speaking you get a by. (grammar check I'm really not sure if I'm using by correctly)

But really all joking aside is there anyone out there who's buying decisions are effected by having celebrity voice actors in a game they might be interested in?

I don't think so. Besides a small group of dedicated fans of said actor. It's mostly just PR, IMHO.

Though, i would buy the Stanley Parable again if it had Morgan Freeman as the narrator. Yes, he does count.

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#19 Posted by Zelda187 (1047 posts) -

Most of the best voice work in games is done by completely unknown actors.

So yeah, it's a tremendous waste.

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#20 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (18733 posts) -

It's a great way to raise the price of developing a game rather fast, so no.

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#21 Posted by GamingGod999 (3135 posts) -

As long as they do a good job, I couldn't care whether the voice-work was done by a celebrity or a 'civilian'.

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#22 Edited by jg4xchamp (58154 posts) -

There is nothing wrong with a "celeb" voice actor. Especially if they are actual actors in good mediums and not videogame actors.

But it's about getting the right people. Martin Sheen is an excellent voice actor. Peter Dinklage however is not. And it would be obvious to anyone that has seen his work or even Game of Thrones. At no point on that show are you ever that into the way he delivers his line or anything. His acting is primarily his midget body language. And it's effective for it. On Camera. Not in a sound booth, where he gets exposed. Translation: don't take this to mean he's a poor actor, he isn't, but he doesn't exactly win you over on line delivery or any nuance in that department.

In contrast Tricia Helfer? good voice actor. Martin Sheen? good voice actor. Mark Hammil? you get the picture by now.

Edit: oh and the other part is making sure the role fits. Another issue with Dinklege in Destiny is that...he's basically narrator for most of the game's plot. That is not a role that I would argue would translate well with Peter Dinklage.

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#23 Edited by handssss (1905 posts) -

it's not inherently a good or bad thing. Just need to act well for the roll they are casted and I don't really care if they are hollywood actors or not. Will say though some celeb appearances in games have been so goddamn enjoyable. I still to this day fondly remember how well Samuel L Jackson played Tenpenny in San Andreas. Illusive man may have been a shit villain overall, but he seemed so cool at the time cause Martin Sheen made the character so awesome.

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#24 Posted by NFJSupreme (6298 posts) -

Talented voice acting makes games better so yeah its a good thing

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#25 Posted by jsmoke03 (13696 posts) -

peter dinklage in destiny......

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#26 Posted by gago-gago (11428 posts) -

Good voice acting is good voice acting, bad voice acting is bad voice acting. A celebrity doesn't change that. Hiring a celebrity increases the game budget. I rather have that budget towards development of better gameplay. But if they incorporate all of the above and fits in the budget than I don't mind what celebrity is in the game.

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#27 Posted by foxhound_fox (95256 posts) -

Obviously a good idea if it doesn't excessively balloon the cost of development.

Celebrities have lots of experience with something a lot of voice actors don't... ACTING. They understand how to place themselves in a scene and react to it. And without the body language, it is incredibly hard to get feeling across through voice alone... but they do have lots of experience doing it (just look at Pixar and Dreamworks movies).

The developer just needs to choose the correct person for the role and not just choose them because they are a celebrity.

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#28 Posted by Cloud_imperium (14080 posts) -

Depends .

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#29 Posted by dobzilian (3244 posts) -

Adam West is the new voice for the lego batman game. So im more hyped for it than anything else.

Avatar image for Shielder7
#30 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -

@GamingGod999 said:

As long as they do a good job, I couldn't care whether the voice-work was done by a celebrity or a 'civilian'.

The thing is tho the celebrity is going to take a big chunk out of the budget.

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#31 Posted by Shielder7 (5191 posts) -
@NFJSupreme said:

Talented voice acting makes games better so yeah its a good thing


I think you missed the point.

Avatar image for lawlessx
#32 Edited by lawlessx (48381 posts) -

@foxhound_fox said:

Obviously a good idea if it doesn't excessively balloon the cost of development.

Celebrities have lots of experience with something a lot of voice actors don't... ACTING. They understand how to place themselves in a scene and react to it. And without the body language, it is incredibly hard to get feeling across through voice alone... but they do have lots of experience doing it (just look at Pixar and Dreamworks movies).

The developer just needs to choose the correct person for the role and not just choose them because they are a celebrity.

pretty much this. hiring a famous actor for your game just to boost hype is terrible

Avatar image for CrownKingArthur
#33 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

i prefer when they use voice actors, like billy west, fred tatasciore, or jon dimaggio. rather than celebrities.

though some celebrities have a really unique voice, like michael caine, or morgan freeman. i wouldn't go inflating the budget for them.

on the whole, shielder's post - i feel it is very sensible :)

Avatar image for lawlessx
#34 Posted by lawlessx (48381 posts) -

@CrownKingArthur said:

i prefer when they use voice actors, like billy west, fred tatasciore, or jon dimaggio. rather than celebrities.

though some celebrities have a really unique voice, like michael caine, or morgan freeman. i wouldn't go inflating the budget for them.

on the whole, shielder's post - i feel it is very sensible :)

Michael caine in a video game would be awesome while i feel at this point morgan freeman in a game would just be...weird

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#35 Posted by happyduds77 (1688 posts) -

Waste of money that could be spent on making the game better.

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#36 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -
@lawlessx said:

Michael caine in a video game would be awesome while i feel at this point morgan freeman in a game would just be...weird

i feel they both have pretty good voices. you seen this before? you strike me as a man with a sense of humour.

Loading Video...
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#37 Posted by lawlessx (48381 posts) -

those guys did a good job,but nothing beat this

Loading Video...

XD

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#38 Posted by CrownKingArthur (5262 posts) -

@lawlessx: yeah that's a good clip. 'have you been doing satnavs?'

he's a good dude.

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#39 Posted by RoboCopISJesus (2222 posts) -

Depends on the actor, many celebrities can't voice act worth shit.

Gus Fringe though, damn hes good in what he's done so far. I think professional voice actors are better as long as they aren't over-used on NPCs (cough Bethesda).

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#40 Edited by IgGy621985 (5436 posts) -

Depends on the actor.

GTA franchise shows how you do it properly.

Also, I really liked Ramón Antonio Gerardo Estévez in Mass Effect.

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#41 Posted by HadOne2Many (1485 posts) -

Talent is talent. If the performance is good I don't care whether they are a celebrity or not. Same as in movies.

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#42 Posted by Daious (2315 posts) -

Completely depends on how much effort the hired actor puts into it.

Avatar image for lawlessx
#43 Posted by lawlessx (48381 posts) -

@RoboCopISJesus said:

Depends on the actor, many celebrities can't voice act worth shit.

Gus Fringe though, damn hes good in what he's done so far. I think professional voice actors are better as long as they aren't over-used on NPCs (cough Bethesda).

I feel he's a special case. Now i haven't actually played the content he's in,but from the trailer he appears to be playing a character that shares the damm near same speech pattern as he did in breaking bad. The problem with Peter Dinklage is that when people think of him they see a certain character that has certain traits..not a A.I sounding like a robot. Had bungie designed his character to match well with the personality and charm he displays in Game of thrones you wouldn't be seeing anyone complaining

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#44 Edited by parkurtommo (28266 posts) -

The cost is inefficient, but hearing a familiar voice coming from a video game is a huge deal. It's like all of the things you've seen this actor do now become part of the character, because they have the same voice.

On the other hand some actors are just terrible at voice acting because there is no physical expression to complement the voice acting.

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#45 Posted by AcidTango (1159 posts) -

I feel that for the most part they are a waste of money. But there are some games that have famous celebrities that work really great. As long as the voice acting is well done then that's all that really matters for me and most of the times you don't need a famous actor who wants a huge pay check when you can find a less known actor who can do a great job for less.

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#46 Posted by dommeus (9433 posts) -

@RoboCopISJesus:

The best thing about Bethesda games is when you hear the same voice actor talking to himself whilst you're passing through a settlement. Happened to me the other day in Rivet City

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#47 Posted by zeeshanhaider (4856 posts) -

Excellent topic, I was going to make a thread on it too. Waste of resources IMO. I'm a gameplay guy, I can't even remember who voiced who or are two characters from different games had the same voice actor, never cared about these stupid things.

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#48 Posted by silversix_ (23431 posts) -

After Peter's D stellar performance in Destiny, i'd preferred if every dev spent their resources on the engine and additional gameplay mechanics instead of a popular voice that costs 1M

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#49 Posted by bulby_g (1847 posts) -

Generally indifferent but can be a good idea in game adaptations of films I suppose.

Avatar image for LJS9502_basic
#50 Posted by LJS9502_basic (157702 posts) -

@stizzal13 said:

@LJS9502_basic said:

Increases the cost of the game....unnecessarily.

It depends on the skill level of the voice actor and the cost. Having seen games with bad voice acting, it can certainly help a game in some aspects. But, it has to make sense from a budget stand point.

Uh you know there are professional voice actors that aren't going to command the same money as a celebrity?