Troy Baker Announces NFT Partnership, Gets Ratioed [UPDATE]

Man in the arena fucks around and finds out.

Update: Troy Baker has posted to his Twitter that he won’t be continuing the partnership with VoiceVerse NFT.

“Thank you all for your feedback and patience,” Baker wrote. “After careful consideration, I’ve decided to not continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT. Intentions aside, I’ve heard you and apologize for accusing anyone of “hating” just by simply disagreeing with me.”

Original story: Troy Baker, the voice actor who you probably know from roles like Joel from The Last of Us or Snow from the Final Fantasy XIII series, has had a loud morning today after announcing at 1 a.m. Eastern that he was entering a partnership to make NFTs. Specifically with Voiceverse NFT, which makes voice NFTs. Its official site describes this as providing “an ownership to a unique voice in the Metaverse.”

Baker’s announcement in the dead of night said this “might bring new tools and new creators to make new things, and allow everyone a chance to own & invest in the IP’s they create.” But even announcing it when most Americans would be asleep, or not looking at social media for their own sanity, the backlash was loud, and it was immediate. Not only for Baker’s involvement in an NFT project to begin with, but also the antagonistic tone of his tweet, which more or less implied anyone who was against the process was a hater and getting in the way of True Creatives Doing Creative Work. It was also met with criticism from other voice actors, who believe the technology being used will affect actors’ ability to get work.

As Baker’s post blew up, Voiceverse NFT posted a thread on its Twitter account, attempting to describe the utility of a voice NFT. Some examples included creating audiobooks, YouTube videos, or podcasts with AI voices the NFT owner would have rights to. As well as using the voice in multiplayer games to sound like a certain character in voice chat. As for what actors like Baker would stand to gain here, Voiceverse says voice NFTs would provide royalties to actors whose voices were being recreated with AI, and as the hypothetical value of an NFT rises, the actor would receive “benefits,” but that’s as specific as the post got. The thread also acknowledged the environmental impact of NFTs, and said it was working to move its NFTs to a “much more environmentally friendly mainnet.” Basically saying that it’s going to be more environmentally friendly in the future. Scout’s honor.

In the thread’s sign-off tweet, Voiceverse NFT “[admits] some of the short-comings” of the entire process, but asks for people to give it a chance before writing it off entirely.

More on NFTs in video games:

Anyway, all that happened in the early hours of the a.m., and Baker’s follow-up thread was posted about nine hours later. In it, he says he appreciated people “giving [him] a lot to think about.” Then goes on to say that he’s a storyteller who is trying to tell his story…through lending his voice to AI voice generators for people to pay money for. He also admitted the hate/create section of his announcement was antagonistic, and a “bad attempt to bring levity.” So, that’s not really anything. Baker’s original tweet is still live, and he hasn’t said anything about whether or not he’s going to get out of whatever agreement he’s signed up for. But he has much to consider.

If you want a real breakdown on NFTs and what they mean for video games, take some time to check out this episode of Thanks for the Knowledge, where John Warren spoke with The Verge’s Adi Robertson about it.