The “Bayonetta” saga continues. It has been a whirlwind of accusations, allegations, and online contempt over the last week and a half regarding the upcoming Nintendo Switch game “Bayonetta 3.” If you need a refresher, read this. On October 15th, Hellena Taylor posted a series of videos to Twitter, explaining why she was not returning to voice the gun-toting witch. The original voice actor of the character, Taylor claims she was only offered $4,000 for the entire gig, and insisted she should be paid “a living wage.”
On October 18th, reports from Bloomberg and Video Games Chronicle conflicted Taylor’s claims, and instead said she was actually offered approximately three times that amount. Since then, Taylor has remained silent on social media. That is until she posted a somewhat confusing reply on the 23rd.
These latest comments do not paint Taylor in the best of lights. In her previous set of tweets and videos, Taylor explicitly claimed that she was offered $4,000 to voice the entire game. That’s not what she’s saying now.
This contradicts her story in two ways. First, she never claimed at any point in time that she was offered $10,000. She also changes the amount and the condition of what she was offered after writing to Hideki Kamiya, one of the co-founders of “Bayonetta 3” developer, PlatinumGames. In her original story, Taylor claimed she wrote to him about the pay she was offered, and he responded by offering her $4,000. Now Taylor claims Kamiya responded, saying she was offered an extra $5,000. We’re assuming the extra 0 in her tweet is a typo? That is a big change in the story. Going from $4,000 to $5,000 EXTRA is VERY different than her original complaints.
Also dubious is the claim Taylor has made twice now- calling “Bayonetta” is a $450 million franchise. PlatinumGames says the first game in the franchise sold 2 million copies, but keep in mind that the game was originally released back in 2009. Its been a slow trickle of sales over the years. “Bayonetta 2” was originally released on the Wii U, a console that…did not sell well. The Nintendo Switch re-release of the title helped it, but it still didn’t sell much more than the original. It would’ve had to have outperformed it tremendously to turn “Bayonetta” into a franchise worth almost half a billion dollars.
From everything we’ve learned so far, it seems like PlatinumGames’ version of the story is closer to the truth than Taylor’s. Which is something that’s a big problem for Taylor’s credibility right now. Putting aside whether or not $10,000 – $15,000 is fair pay for voice work, it’s a far cry from $4,000. It is however, right in the ballpark of what PlatinumGames said they offered her. A more plausible story now is that yes, PlatinumGames did offer the amount they said they did, but Taylor did not feel it was fair pay. In turn, she went to social media and omitted certain details of the pay negotiations to make her seem more sympathetic. We may never know if that’s the exact truth, but based on how Taylor’s story has changed, it does seem all the more likely.
“Bayonetta 3” goes on sale October 28th for the Nintendo Switch.