Bayonetta Actress Calls For Game Boycott

Longtime Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor has called for a boycott of the upcoming third game after Nintendo offered her a tiny paycheck for her work.

By Jason Collins | Published

Another case of mistreatment by Nintendo has emerged, and this one is tied to one of the company’s largest franchises — Bayonetta. The third installment in the franchise was announced almost a year ago, and gaming media’s attention on the bullet-time gun-slinging witch hasn’t waned since then. Following the news about the game developer’s controversial decision about the game’s protagonist, the eponymous Bayonetta, the former lead voice actress, Hellena Taylor, just stated that she wasn’t offered a living wage by Nintendo’s studio and called on fans to boycott Bayonetta 3.  

According to IGN, now-former Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor shared a few video posts on Twitter sharing her side of the story following the announcement that Jennifer Hale — credited with Mass Effect — will assume the role of the iconic witch in the upcoming Bayonetta 3. PlatinumGames, who made the original announcement, stated that Taylor wouldn’t reprise her role due to various overlapping circumstances that would prevent her from playing Bayonetta once again. However, Taylor came out with her version of the story and is now calling for a Bayonetta boycott.

Offering an explanation like “overlapping circumstances” sound like schedule conflicts or a simple change of talent due to performance issues. However, as it always is, the point of contention between Nintendo’s game development studio and Hellena Taylor stems from money and Nintendo’s reluctance to part with it.

Apparently, PlatinumGames offered Taylor a mere $4,000 for the entirety of the performance for Bayonetta 3, which was considered offending by the former Bayonetta voice actress. Gaming studios should really take the page out of Santa Monica’s book.  

The entire Bayonetta franchise made more than $450 million of games alone, not including the merchandise — which undoubtedly generates plenty, considering how popular the franchise is. Taylor, who took more than seven years to work on her talent, and plenty more to work on the games, was offered a flat buyout rate of $4,000.

That is an insulting figure by any standard within the voice acting industry, where most actors are paid more than $400 per hour of studio time for voicing a single character. That figure climbs up to over $900/h for actors voicing more than one character.

Taylor also added that a Bayonetta boycott is every gamer’s personal choice. She urged those that choose to boycott the game to spend the money anyway and donate the amount to charity instead, stating that it would help those who got hurt by massive financial decisions such as this one. However, she appears even more upset about the fact that PlatinumGames had the audacity to publicly imply that she was busy at the moment when she had nothing but time. And she wasn’t the only one that was mistreated.

Regardless of where the fandom stands on the Bayonetta boycott, the unionization of employees and talent within the gaming industry has started taking place, and it’s only a matter of time before it reaches Nintendo. The unionization began amidst the Activision Blizzard scandal, and its currently seeking to revolutionize the hierarchical structure of the gaming industry where, as per Taylor herself, the fat cats take the cream of the top and leave nothing but crumbles for both the technical and performing talent that drives the industry forward.