Report: More Details Drop in Bayonetta 3 Pay Dispute

Report: More Details Drop in Bayonetta 3 Pay Dispute

Bayonetta 3 Pay Dispute

The back-and-forth over Bayonetta 3 and compensation over playing the role of Bayonetta just got more complicated. A report by journalist Jason Schreier published in Bloomberg suggests that PlatinumGames had offered Hellena Taylor, the star of Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2, significantly more to voice the role for the sequel than Taylor had claimed in her complaints last week.

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the negotiations and documentation reviewed by Bloomberg, Schreier said that PlatinumGames sought to rehire Taylor to voice Bayonetta for Bayonetta 3 for at least five sessions at a rate of $3,000 to $4,000 USD per session. This would bring Taylor's minimum total compensation to about $15,000 USD. Meanwhile, sources speaking to VGC corroborated the offer, though they suggested that there could've been "as few as four" sessions. Taylor reportedly rejected the offer, and instead asked for "a six-figure sum" and residuals - royalties payments paid to people who work on TV shows and films (usually actors) when a work is rerun, syndicated, or released to home video. Negotiations ensued and eventually fell through, with PlatinumGames choosing to recast the role instead.

Jennifer Hale, who took on the role for Bayonetta 3, expressed support on Monday for every actor's right to be paid well, but said that as she is under an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), she could not discuss the situation in detail. She hoped that everyone involved could resolve their differences "in an amicable and respectful way."

Residuals were a major sticking point of the voice actor strikes of 2016 and 2017. The SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) union and its supporters demanded residuals paid for voice actors' work in games. It eventually settled for a system of bonuses based on the number of sessions worked instead. Residuals are common in TV and film production, but aren't guaranteed for video game voice actors.

In a response to Bloomberg, Taylor denied the account, calling it "an absolute lie" and saying PlatinumGames is "trying to save their ass and the game". She said she stands by the claims made in the videos she posted. Speaking with VGC, she said that the claim she was offered more than $4,000 "categorically untrue". Neither PlatinumGames nor its executives have issued an official response as of press time.

Bayonetta 3 releases on Nintendo Switch on October 28, 2022.

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