UPDATE 4.30pm UK: Troy Baker has responded to the huge backlash which erupted online today after he began promoting an NFT service.
In a series of new messages posted to his Twitter this afternoon, Baker admitted his earlier “You can hate. Or you can create.” message about his new business venture “might have been a bit antagonistic”.
But while the messages strike a more humble town, Baker did not comment on whether his relationship with VoiceverseNFT would still continue. Here’s Baker’s new comments in full:
“I always want to be a part of the conversation, even if sometimes that finds me in the midst of a loud one,” Baker wrote. “Appreciate y’all sharing your thoughts and giving me a lot to think about. I’m just a storyteller out here trying to tell my story to whomever will hear and hoping I can help others do the same. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I’m grateful there are those who are passionate about their stance & not only feel safe to express that but also have the means to do so.
“The ‘hate/create’ part might have been a bit antagonistic. Hope y’all will forgive me for that. Bad attempt to bring levity. Anyway, feel free to resume the conversation, or not as you please. I appreciate those with truth showing it, those with support offering it, and those with anger doing their best to express with it. 🤘🏻”
Baker’s response follows a barrage of negativity from fans and onlookers who criticised the voice actor’s earlier decision to promote a service that effectively automated his own profession, as well as one built on typically-vague promises of NFT value, sold via a typically-damaging cryptocurrency.
I always want to be a part of the conversation, even if sometimes that finds me in the midst of a loud one. Appreciate y?all sharing your thoughts and giving me a lot to think about. I?m just a storyteller out here trying to tell my story to whomever will hear and?
— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) January 14, 2022
ORIGINAL STORY 10.30am UK: Troy Baker, one of the most high-profile and prolific voice actors in video games, star of The Last of Us, BioShock Infinite and Fortnite, is now promoting NFTs.
Baker, whose voice can be heard in hundreds of games, announced this morning via Twitter that he was partnering with VoiceverseNFT, a company which describes itself as providing “the world’s first VoiceNFTs”.
What is a VoiceNFT? In a thread posted this morning in the wake of Baker’s announcement, VoiceverseNFT described its creation as an “AI voice that the NFT represents ownership of”, which you can then use to create your own spoken content.
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.
We all have a story to tell.
You can hate.
Or you can create.
What?ll it be? pic.twitter.com/cfDGi4q0AZ
— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) January 14, 2022
“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,” Baker wrote.
“We all have a story to tell. You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?”
It’s unclear whether Baker is actually lending his own voice to be bought on the service, or whether his partnership simply extends to promoting the idea. A lot is unclear, really.
“Voice NFTs provide intrinsic utility in addition to a fantastic community,” Voiceverse wrote, attempting to explain. “You can’t right click either of these.”
Other claims made by VoiceNFT include a suggestion of some form of royalties paid to the original voice actor whose voice was then sold as an NFT, and that the company was “working hard” to move its NFTs systems to a “much more environmentally friendly” solution in future.
“Imagine being able to create customised audiobooks, Youtube videos, e-learning lectures, or even podcasts with your favourite voice!” Voiceverse continued. “Imagine being able to talk in the voice of the character you are playing as in a multiplayer game! Imagine the next level of immersive experience!”
Reaction to the announcement and Baker’s involvement has been universally negative.
On top of the usual downsides of NFTs (that so many are sold like snakeoil, and that the cryptocurrencies used to buy them are destroying our planet), many have pointed out that what Baker was essentially helping sell was automated voice acting – something that will lead to less work for the average voice actor or voiceover artist in future.
Baker has yet to comment since his initial announcement.