Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article intimated that Roger Craig Smith was alluding to stepping away from video games, which was entirely presumptive on our part. The quote is simply about some of the difficulties present within working in voice acting in the video game industry. Smith commented via Tweet to make us aware that we had not portrayed his intentions correctly. We apologize to Roger Craig Smith for this egregious error on our part!
Roger Craig Smith has quite a resume as a voice actor. In video games alone, he has portrayed the likes of Ezio Auditore da Firenze, Batman, and even Sonic the Hedgehog. But things aren’t always well in the video game industry in business terms, especially for voice actors. While voice acting can be a great career in spaces like animation, video games often demand too much work and strain on one’s voice, for not enough compensation. This, among other issues, led to a strike that had a big impact on several games in 2016. The strike was resolved, but issues still persist, according to Smith. In a recent podcast, he spoke to those issues. (Editor’s Note: The interview itself never discusses the strike or compensation. The conversation was centered around the amount of time that they take and the strain on the voice. For the full context, please listen to the full episode of Puttin’ in Work with Jono Pech.)
Here’s a quote from the most recent episode of Puttin’ in Work with Jono Pech, provided by Jono Pech himself via a Reddit thread:
I’m gonna go in and be unable to work for two days and for what, to be part of a popular game? If the goal is run a career and gain income, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot and taking a bunch of steps backwards by not being able to go out and work in the name of doing this one particular role.
There it is. Voice acting in games often involves long hours, and even physical labor in the form of motion capture. It’s a risk for sure. As Smith says, while starring in a big game can lead to a role in something extremely popular, it’s a risk that involves not being available for other jobs. Being tied down by things like NDAs also means you can’t talk about gigs until a certain point, either. It’s interesting to think about, and someone with the name value of Smith speaking to it could cause some ripples.