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The Full Facts On The Bayonetta 3 Salary Wars

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Over the weekend Twitter erupted in rage over a series of videos from Hellena Taylor, who voiced Bayonetta in the first two games but was not playing her in Bayonetta 3 (due out October 28). She said Platinum Games had callously offered her just $4000 for the entire job and she not only refused, she was breaking NDA to tell everyone to boycott the game.

Investigative journalist Jason Schreier, who frequently covers cases of injustice in the game industry and was born for an incident like this, got to work. He found no evidence of what Taylor was claiming and two accounts to the contrary, as well as documents of the negotiations that told a different story.

While the $4000 figure exists, it’s part of a larger bill. “Platinum Games sought to hire Taylor for at least five sessions, each paying $3,000 to $4,000 for four hours in the studio. That would make the total for the game at least $15,000,” says Schreier. The sources also claim that Taylor countered this with a six-figure demand along with residuals, and Platinum declined at that point, choosing to recast instead.

This would also make some sense of Taylor’s replacement — Jennifer Hale. Hale has been in everything, she’s a true pro, and she is not cheap by any means. She would laugh at a $4,000 flat offer and hang up the phone. She has no shortage of high-paid work. If the issue had been money, they would not have hired another union actor, let alone Hale.

But if Taylor is the one lying, why? Why would you stab your former employer in such a public manner if you didn’t mean it? What could she gain by burning her voice acting career so hard? We can only speculate on this, but she also told Schreier “I would like to put this whole bloody franchise behind me [and] get on with my life in the theatre.” In other words, Taylor likely never intended to come back to voice acting to begin with; she has other interests now.

“It’s unlikely that the full story will get as much traction or as many eyeballs as the original Twitter videos, which (imo) raises some interesting questions about pleas to emotion and how information is disseminated in the social media age,” Schreier commented.