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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GamePro staff

GamePro (online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?