Nintendo has confirmed it is the replacing the voice actor of the male protagonist, Byleth, in Fire Emblem: Three Houses after the voice actor portrayed the character was accused of sexual assault. The publisher says it will release a patch to replace the voice work, with fellow voice artist Zach Aguilar – who’s credited as Byleth in Fire Emblem Heroes – thought to be providing the replacement voice work.
Back on July 17th, Chris Niosi – who played the male version of Byleth in Fire Emblem: Three Houses – wrote a detailed blog post (thanks, Eurogamer) in which he admits he “horribly mistreated and abused friends, colleagues and even my significant others”. Insisting the statement is not a “PR stunt or some form of damage control”, Niosi added “this is not an attempt to preserve my career, or livelihood or my social standings with anybody. I have accepted that by talking about all of these things, my life is going to change and there will be consequences”.
In a brief statement Nintendo said: “After assessing the situation, we decided to re-record the character’s voiceovers in Fire Emblem: Three Houses and Fire Emblem Heroes with another actor. The new voiceovers will be included in a future patch.”
This is the second time this year a notable game has had to rework voice performances following controversies with its voice cast. Sega withdrawn Yakuza spin-off Judgment from sale after Pierre Taki – who plays Yakuza Kyohei Hamura – was arrested on alleged drug charges. Given Taki reportedly admitted using cocaine, the publisher decided to withdraw the game from sale both physically and digitally whilst it considered how best to proceed.
A new version of the game, which replaced Yakuza Kyohei Hamura’s voice and character mode with a different actor, was released earlier this month both in Japan and internationally.