Prominent games voice actor Troy Baker has insisted that smaller studios can afford to get major performers involved with their game – if they consider rewarding them with more than money.
Speaking to Develop in an extensive interview, the Uncharted 4, Metal Gear Solid V, Last of Us and BioShock Infinite star said: “I look at small studios specifically and I'll say this for me, I can't speak for everyone, what I'm drawn to is the content.
“There's a few projects that I'm doing right now that are not big-budget games. They don't have the 'money' to get me, but because I want to be a part of that, we're getting creative about how we can make it make sense for me to give the amount of time that I'm willing to give to be a part of the project, because I believe in the project.”
Baker went on to explain that the innovation and originality exhibited by smaller studios should be championed as a major draw for actors, comparing the artistic appeal of the indie games sector to low-budget filmmaking, which has seen a number of Hollywood stars offer their talents at cut-price rates.
“People will throw out 'Oh my gosh, I can't pay double scale' or 'I can't pay Kevin Spacey for what he wants to do',” he continued. “No, you can't, but what you can do is create content and say: 'Do you want to make some art? If you want to make some art, and you're in a position that you can maybe sacrifice a little bit in order to make that art, we want to give you a platform to do that.'
“That's why you see so many actors that do these small indie movies, because they're like 'It's just guerrilla filmmaking' and 'It's this great play that I've always wanted to do' or 'It's this really cool game where I love the character'. 'Did you make a mint on it?' 'No, but I made art.'”
He summarised: “If developers will entice people by just really crafting good experiences and creating incredible characters, that will attract more actors and higher-quality actors than any amount of money will.”
All this week, Develop is taking a deeper look into sound and music in video games through our Audio Special.