Troy Baker ends partnership with NFT company Voiceverse

Hopefully this will be The Last of It

Voice actor Troy Baker – known for roles in numerous video games, including Joel in The Last of Us and Sam Drake in Uncharted, has reversed plans to partner with a company aiming to create NFTs of actors’ voices.

Baker announced his partnership with Voiceverse earlier this month (January 14), attracting criticism for supporting a company that many saw as potentially automating the performance work of voice actors. The announcement also drew significant backlash for Baker’s antagonistic tone, telling followers, “You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?”, a statement he almost immediately apologised for.

The overwhelmingly negative reaction to the initial announcement seemingly forced the normally social media-active Baker to take a sabbatical from Twitter. Now, in his first tweet in 17 days, Baker has announced that “after careful consideration”, he has “decided to not continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT.”

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No further details have yet been provided, although Baker added that “intentions aside, I’ve heard you and apologize for accusing anyone of ‘hating’ just by simply disagreeing with me.”

In response, Voiceverse has tweeted “We have mutually decided to end our partnership with Troy Baker, and will double-down our resources and efforts to execute on our roadmap, further our vision as the voice of Web3.0, and strengthen our community as well as the broader NFT ecosystem.”

Voiceverse plans to use AI-driven “voice NFTs”, ostensibly in partnership with real actors. However, it emerged that Voiceverse had been publicising its project not with its own work, but rather AI voices generated by 15.ai, an explicitly non-commercial voice synthesizer. Voiceverse apologised, saying that “Our marketing team was in a rush and the best voice they could find was not ours but 15.ai, and failed to give credit.”

In related news, UK publisher Team17 has announced a line of NFTs based on its long-running strategy franchise, Worms. However, the company appears to be hedging its bets by emphasising that it “is licencing the Worms brand to our newest third-party partner”, and that it “has no plans to introduce NFTs or play-to-earn NFT mechanics into any of its indie games label titles.”

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