Niko voice-over upset over lack of GTA IV royalties

No SAG policies in place

The raging commercial success (nearing a half billion) of Grand Theft Auto IV is bittersweet, says the voice behind Niko Bellic, because behind the scenes video game talent doesn't see royalties like movies and music stars.

"I'm incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody," said Michael Hollick, who received $US100,000 for 15 months of voice-over work, according to the New York Times.

"But it's tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they're making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don't see any of it. I don't blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games."

Unlike movies and music, the Screen Actor's Guild doesn't have policies in place to guarantee residual pay above and behind the work-for-hire rate, which Hollick knowingly agreed to before Grand Theft Auto IV became the biggest thing in 2008 since sliced bread.

Though Hollick asserts, "it's the human performances within [games] that people really connect to," others, like entertainment lawyer Ezra J. Doner, say "the conception of the creative director" drives game sales, not behind the scenes acting talent.

"The actor whose appearance or voice is used [in video games] is more analogous to a studio musicians [who] don't get residuals on the sales of the CD," says Doner. "It's not like the star quality of Tom Cruise that's getting people to buy a video game."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GamePro staff

GamePro (online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?