In the video game community (and especially the Bayonetta fandom) it has been a bit of a chaotic week. This previous weekend, Hellena Taylor (the voice of Bayonetta prior to Bayonetta 3) released a series of videos calling out PlatinumGames for lowballing her during talks of Bayonetta 3’s development. Ultimately, Taylor walked away from the role and was calling for a boycott of the release of Bayonetta 3 (and threw Bayonetta’s new voice actor, Jennifer Hale, under a metaphorical bus too).

Ultimately, thanks to reporting from Jason Schreier for Bloomberg and Andy Robinson for VGC, there’s evidence that Taylor lied about what she was offered. According to their reports and multiple sources, Taylor was offered $3,000 to $4,000 per session (and four to five sessions were planned). In total, Taylor would be paid at least $15,000. Instead, Taylor countered for a six-figure pay ($100,000 at least) and residuals. Obviously, an agreement was not met and Platinum recasted the role. Platinum did reach out to Taylor again, but to offer a cameo role and pay for the price of one session ($4,000). Taylor turned down the offer.

Still, Nintendo and PlatinumGames didn’t release an official statement during this entire ordeal… Unless you want to count Hideki Kamiya’s vague subtweeting and massive blocking spree that essentially poured a barrel of gasoline on the discussion and invoked a gigantic PR nightmare. Last night, though, PlatinumGames finally released a public message on its Japanese and English Twitter accounts.

 

 

Since alt text wasn’t available for the image, here is the statement transcribed:

 

We at PlatinumGames offer our sincerest appreciation to everyone who has contributed to creating the Bayonetta series over the years, as well as the community that has served as its foundation.

We give our full support to Jennifer Hale as the new Bayonetta, and align with everything in her statement.

We ask people to please refrain from any further comments that would disrespect Jennifer or any of the other contributors to the series.

 

For reference, here is Jennifer Hale’s public statement she made about Bayonetta 3 earlier this week:

 

With regard to Bayonetta 3,

As a longtime member of the voice acting community, I support every actor’s right to be paid well and have advocated consistently for this for years.

Anyone who knows me, or has followed my career, will know that I have great respect for my peers, and that I am an advocate for all members of the community.

I am under NDA and am not at liberty to speak regarding this situation. My reputation speaks for itself.

I sincerely ask that everyone keep in mind that this game has been created by an entire team of hard-working, dedicated people and I hope everyone will keep an open mind about what they’ve created.

Finally, I hope that everyone involved may resolve their differences in an amicable and respectful way.

With love and respect to you all,

Jennifer Hale

 

While PlatinumGames’ message doesn’t directly address the entire incident, it might be the closest thing we get to one for now. Ultimately, NDA (non-disclosure agreement) was broken by Taylor and PlatinumGames can sue her for breach of NDA (plus damaging the Bayonetta brand due to slander).

Bayonetta 3 is still on track to be released next week on Friday, October 28th. Going forward, most public messages are probably going to be focused on promoting the title and hoping that a mass boycott doesn’t happen and impact the game’s launch sales.

 

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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)