If you played the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer test this past weekend, you may have noticed that the voice actor for Harry Flynn, who appeared in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, had changed.
Responding to the many comments on a PlayStation Forums thread, Naughty Dog’s Arne Meyer acknowledged their silence on the matter so far. He then explained that they did contact original voice actor Steve Valentine, but it’s too late now to change anything:
Looking into it, we *did* contact the original voice actors for the characters when we were looking to cast and record voiceover for the multiplayer characters in order to have them reprise his roles – this included Harry Flynn. This was our priority and we proceeded to try to do that across the board. I can’t speak to why anyone would feel otherwise. In this case, we made the best effort to make it work, but ultimately we couldn’t strike a deal that both sides were satisfied with. Sometimes that happens in this industry, among many others.
As always, we do appreciate your feedback and efforts to put support behind things you like and want — we know all you want is our game to be the best it possibly can. We did our part to make it work and it didn’t work out when it should have – when we were casting the roles and negotiating agreements. Unfortunately, the opportunity had long passed us by, even back in December, and we won’t be re-recording any multiplayer voices.
When someone brought up the fact that Steve says he wasn’t contacted (see below), Meyer replied:
Don’t know why that’s been said. I don’t want to turn this into a he-said, she-said, but we did reach out via his representation as we always do with all our actors. And the typical contract negotiations were had. An agreement couldn’t be settled on.
Asked if they might re-use old lines for Harry Flynn, Meyer said, “I did look into what we could do given the concerns and I’ve been unequivocally told things are staying as they are. It’s not something we took lightly even originally from my conversations, but that’s where it lies. Apologies.”
Creative Director Neil Druckmann added on Twitter, “As much as we wanted… sometimes deals don’t work out. U4 MP has complex dialog system — can’t just grab lines from U2 & U3.”
Giving out his side of the story, Valentine took to Twitter earlier this week and said he was disappointed the private discussions became public:
Many asked, so; Since the beta, no one’s approached re #Uncharted4. Not gonna happen chaps.But can’t tell u how grateful I am 4 the love:)
It would be easy to discuss the realities of the voice over business, and point fingers and complain. But it doesn’t get actors anywhere. Acting, and voice acting is a tricky business. Private business, that shouldn’t be discussed on forums by execs. very disappointed tonight.
I’ll say this. This is my business it’s how I support my family, my kids etc. worked my entire life at it. Some execs, don’t respect that. It takes a lot of skilled people to put a project.. It game.. Together. I respect every single one of them. Sadly it’s not reciprocal. Actors have a history of being offered ‘take it or leave its’. And as much as I loved the work. I had to ‘leave its’. Over a YEAR ago.
It’s a shame that private talks didn’t stay private. But the fans deserved to know. I WOULD have loved to do it. It really comes down 2 how much fans care about who is in their games. If they buy & play no matter what, we’ll always be interchangeable.
Didn’t want to discuss this so publicly but there u go. If it’s ok with u guys I’d like to leave it at that. #lifestooshortforcorporatecrap
Today, Valentine added:
Final response: I said I wasn’t contacted after the beta. Original contact was a long time ago with take it leave it. Which is why this whole thing pisses me off. ‘Was offered take it or leave it’ .They want U to believe they did ‘all they could’, serious bs.
And then to hit Twitter with that is not cool. Ok guys that’s it on this subject of once private conversations. Thanks for the support.
What do you think of the change?