Troy Baker partners with Voiceverse NFT to destroy the industry he helped grow

Epic Games
Epic Games /

Troy Baker saw 2022 and its exciting potential for a fresh start and a better world and he chose violence. Today, January 14, 2022, the veteran voice actor, looking to take Scab to the next level, decided to not only shill for VoiceVerse (a company driving to use AI software to make it so people can have audiobooks, video games and more voiced by an AI instead of paying an actor) but also VoiceVerse’s new NFTs that they’ll be shilling.

I didn’t think it would be possible to disrespect everyone you’ve ever worked with so hard while also pitching a pyramid scheme to people you don’t know at the same time, but damn. That’s the multi-faceted talent that is Troy Baker.

In the process, he even goes for the full hat trick of also implying that people who aren’t into this are merely haters. Nothing really smooths over a bad PR move like letting people know that if you disagree, you’re wrong in advance.

This, of course, gave the internet to make the choice “hate or create” and I believe pro gaming bad-ass Anne Munition said it best with this well worded tweet.

Now, you already know what NFTs are. Short for No Flarking Thanks, NFTs are a pyramid scheme so terrible that even one of the original creators of NFTs (or at least someone who very much got the ball rolling) wrote an article for the Atlantic denouncing them for turning into something horrible.

And this is all bad already, even not focusing on the fact that the blockchaining technology is a massive ecological disaster that currently stands to undermine the changes many businesses have made to comply with the Paris Agreement.

But let’s get into VoiceVerse themselves and why it’s incredible that Troy Baker of all people would be supporting them.

VoiceVerse is a company that in addition to recently attempting to make audio-based NFTs  — if you think those monkeys LOOK ugly, wait till you can hear them on a loop — also want to completely destroy the voice acting industry.

Let’s say they were making a new Star Wars game and they wanted Mark Hamill to voice Luke Skywalker. Now, they can spend the money to hire someone who absolutely earns their paycheck to come in and give a passionate read. Or, in the VoiceVerse future, they can merely use VoiceVerse’s software to purchase the Mark Hamill pack featuring an AI that has been trained to talk like Mark Hamill. And, should the game sell well, Mark Hamill will receive a small royalty. If it doesn’t, he gets absolutely nothing despite his voice being used on the main character.

And let’s say Mark Hamill doesn’t want to sign with VoiceVerse. The power of this AI is that you can bring in someone who does a good Mark Hamill impersonation and have that dude record the sample lines. Then, regardless of the impersonator’s acting ability, use those vocal cues to create a perfectly acted Mark Hamill knockoff. The result is the company gets to pay even less for vocal talent. And if you look at the game industry over the last several years, you know they’d blow up the moon to save five bucks.

It essentially creates an insidious middle man that destroys the voice acting industry at both ends. Not only would it be incredibly cheap to have anything you work on — from a triple A-game to a mobile gacha scam — to be voiced by someone like Nolan North, but it would also destroy the way for rookie voice actors to get in the door. Why bother if everyone can just have an AI use a famous voice. Or as VoiceVerse says it:

Remember the interview I did with Sidone Marie Šakâlis about her excellent vocal work on Lost Words and the crazy random happenstance that led to her getting the gig? That situation would never have happened if they were could just “Hatsune Miku” Jennifer Hale’s voice in there.

So long story short, by posting his tweet this morning, Troy Baker accomplished three things. One, he showed a complete disregard for the environmental crisis (and his fans). Two, he showed an absolute disregard for the struggles rookie voice actors face. And three, he completely burnt bridges with his fellow coworkers, showing that he’d be fine with them being replaced by a computer.

I feel like Troy Baker’s going to have a weird week. Especially after he, himself, was removed from the Borderlands series for going on strike to protect voice actor rights.