Voice actor in nearly every corner of gaming, from Fortnite and Marvel's Avengers to BioShock Infinite and Death Stranding, Troy Baker, now finds himself at the forefront of controversy after announcing his partnership with Voiceverse to promote NFTs.
Akin to Baker's own industry, Voiceverse makes a different kind of NFT altogether. The company utilizes artificial intelligence alongside a "high-functioning utility" to allow consumers ownership over voices that can be used in almost anything, from YouTube videos to, potentially, even video games.
While Voiceverse focuses its efforts and ideology more on metaverse applications, Baker aims his literal voice at the fans. In an announcement posted on Twitter early Friday morning, Jan. 14, the video game VA star takes somewhat of a moral high ground by stating, "We all have a story to tell. You can hate. Or you can create. What'll it be?"
I’m partnering with @VoiceverseNFT to explore ways where together we might bring new tools to new creators to make new things, and allow everyone a chance to own & invest in the IP’s they create.— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) January 14, 2022
We all have a story to tell.
You can hate.
Or you can create.
What’ll it be? pic.twitter.com/cfDGi4q0AZ
As far as what his partnership really entails, the details are rather hazy. It's as of yet unclear if Baker is simply a face to help boost awareness for the Voiceverse brand or will be working with the company to develop said NFTs with his voice (which, in theory, could entail NFTs for all of the various characters he helped bring alive).
Fans across the internet and media alike have already well-voiced their opinions not only on this matter but the NFT in games notion as a whole. To say they aren't happy would be an understatement.
NFTs not only cause immense strain on the environment, as cryptos themselves take up a ton of kilowattage in every sale (an average of 1,173 kilowatt hours in each transaction via Bitcoin), but they can also easily be made into scams or utilized for nefarious reasons, like money laundering.
5/8— Voiceverse NFT (@VoiceverseNFT) January 14, 2022
We understand the environmental impacts of NFTs. We are working hard to move our Voice NFTs to a much more environmentally friendly mainnet in the future such as Polygon or Solana. Proof of Work→ Proof of Stake
There's also a possibilty that Voiceverse and its product would negatively impact the voice acting industry. You take the real heart and soul out of the experience, letting AI do all of the heavy liftings, and it leaves no room for newcomers and even veterans to prosper in the evolution of their work. Baker himself did not get to where he is today by sitting back and letting an AI NFT voice all of the many iconic characters he helped create.
The VoiceNFT platform would, in essence, detract from the everyday VA artist's income, as well. While the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) owned Voiceverse vies to bring layers of good to the equation, including paid royalties to actors that have their voice used in an NFT and moving to a less ecologically harmful development process, the writing is already on the wall. Or, in some smart wallet somewhere.