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 Good Gear Guide 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

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?