Last Of Us Voice Actor Pisses Everyone Off With NFT Push

Last Of Us Voice Actor Pisses Everyone Off With NFT Push
Image: Naughty Dog / Sony

Troy Baker, best known as the voice behind The Last Of Us Parts 2’s Joel Miller, made trouble for himself overnight when he announced his support for a new NFT venture around monetising artists’ voice work. “You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?” he standoffish-ly tweeted. It didn’t take fans long to decide.

“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–who’s voiced dozens of video game characters from Final Fantasy XIII’s Snow to Fortnite’s Agent Jones–wrote overnight. “We all have a story to tell.”

And the internet had a new tweet to ratio.

“You’ve still got the choice to either back out of this now, rather than being deeply, truly humiliated when you think about it in a couple years,” responded YouTube gaming essayist, Jacob Geller.

Baker tried to walk back the tone of his tweet in a follow-up thread, but didn’t make any mention of whether he was actually backing out of the project. “The ‘hate/create’ part might have been a bit antagonistic,” he wrote.

So what even is this new blockchain-based scheme Baker backed? Voice NFT bills itself as “a 2nd generation NFT built with AI and high-functioning utility that provides you an ownership to a unique voice in the Metaverse.” The idea is that an artist creates a recording, someone buys it, and that someone can then use it for “in-game chats, zoom calls, YouTube & Tiktok,” and more. A seven part plan begins with artists adding their voices to the project this month, and ends sometime in the future with plans to “partner up with all of your favourite crypto games and communities to have your Voice NFTs truly become the voice of the Metaverse!” Clearly something worth destroying the environment for.

Screenshot: Twitter / Kotaku Screenshot: Twitter / Kotaku

Why is this any different from the existing NFT-as-a-glorified-JPEG scam that everyone has spent the last year collectively groaning about? “Voice NFTs provide intrinsic utility in addition to a fantastic community,” claims the project. “You can’t right click either of these.” These simple explanations raise even more questions than they answer though. At this point, it’s extremely unclear just how much of a person’s voice you gain access to, thanks to the ambiguous wording on Voice NFT’s site.

And then there’s the question of pay. The original artists will get royalties based on the rising or falling value of their NFT, but it doesn’t go into more specifics. Regardless, I can 100 per cent bet you that Baker is not giving away any of his own meaningful voice work to be exploited and manipulated however the no-doubt-soon-to-flame-out Voice NFT metaverse sees fit.

Some other celebrities who have come out in favour of one crypto racket or another have quickly pivoted in the face of the backlash. Home Improvement co-star Richard Kar recently revealed he’d be dropping NFTs based on the hit-90s sitcom and then quickly bailed after thinking “long and hard” about it.

Will Baker do the same? It’s hard to say. The voice of BioShock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt has a habit of doubling down on dumb stuff. In 2016 he tried to get The Washington Post to remove its negative Uncharted 4 review from Metacritic. And when former Kotaku editor Jason Schreier tweeted that games should be shorter, Baker responded with a 100-word excerpt from a Theodore Roosevelt speech about how critics are idiots. Maybe now someone can turn that speech into one of Baker’s Voice NFTs.



  • It’s a gaming website you could use Troys name in the header. He has voiced characters in more games then most people have played.

  • Last of Us is the last piece of media I think of when it comes to Troy Baker. It’s also the last one I’d cite while expecting people to care given how disliked the the second game’s story was by a large amount of people.

    • The game was also critically acclaimed and loved by a lot of people. Given that everyone had strong feelings about it one way or the other and how much exposure it got for this I’d say that makes it the perfect game to cite.

      • TLoU is the first game I think of when I hear Troy Baker. The second is Bioshock Infinite. Added hilarity for the dueling games of the stories of Dads with lost daughters finding ones anew when they shared the same VA lead.

        • For me it’s Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. His video game work doesn’t even really come to mind even though he’s voiced a lot of games.

        • If they were telling about Michael Caine, it wouldn’t make sense to say he was the star of Get Carter. You go with his more recent work, even is it’s not his best. Caine would be Alfred from Nolan’s Batman trilogy.

          • FMA’s sold way more overall as a franchise than TLOU has as far as I’m aware, which means more exposure from that than TLOU as a lesser known franchise. But again, that goes back to me being “old” and knowing about his fan exposure mostly due to the anime cons rather than video game involvement.

  • There is also the significant issue of copyright here, cause while the NFT sales pitch is for artists to earn from their works, it is actually the opposite as NFTs have cause a significant rise in piracy and theft of digital artwork (and mostly for fraudulent profit) that is hurting creators. So many projects are essentially asset flips full of stolen work.

    And when the NFT creator, disappears with all the money, the artwork creator suddenly gets spammed by people saying “your NFT ripped us off”.

    With the sound files, the artists in most cases don’t own them, its the publisher/developer so at the end of the day. Troy is promoting something that will most likely result in his voice being stolen, and he won’t have recourse since Naughty Dog owns his sound files.

  • Good for him, and yet Another example gamers has no sense of reality they are in. Now I am no fan of NFT but if a highly successful actor wants to embrace the obvious future, to find new avenues of work, when entertainment is in dire straights, so be it.

    There was a time when people mocked movie actors for daring to lower themselves to do tv, and computer games. Thankfully the world at large and the talent listen to those haters.

    • You sure you’re not just doing your usual devils advocate thing?

      Baker knew exactly what he was doing when he tried to pull the Emperors new clothes on his fans and the damage control he’s now fumbling through is his own design.

      • No doing my ‘realist’ thing. Personally I hate NFT with a fiery passion but I am also student of history and understand for every new development in history there has always been a peanut gallery screaming with hate and fear, without wanting to see we it goes.

        I have been listening to an extended Play Watch Listen on Alanah Pearce youtube with him. It is clear he walked into this with an open and conflicted mind, but still interesting seeing how this ‘new’ thing can be used in interesting ways.

        In other words… issues are complicated and conflicting, gamers hate in general is NEVER that depth or well considered.

          • so issues arent complicated and conflicting? What, some gamers dont have a long history of overreacting, without careful consideration for all sides, especially those they dont like? How are those absolutes?

          • The absolute of gamers as a singular entity.
            The absolute that innovation is always met with resistance.
            And prob the greatest sin of absolutes, that you understand and everyone else doesn’t.

            You talk of complexities, depth and open minds but display none of that while holding up your cards to everyone dude.

        • everything NFT bros claim NFT’s will do to improve gaming can be done without crypto or NFTS.

          Stop huffing paint. They are as much the future as Nikola Motor’s was.

          Your level of contrarian for the sake of being contrarian is off the charts here. You yourself admit you dislike NFT’s yet you want to support them because “I HATE DEM GAMERS REEEe”

    • This is a pretty awful take.

      The “obvious future” is only going to happen if people let it. And it’s shit. So we shouldn’t let it.

      How you can compare working in a different artistic medium to selling literally nothing that burns the world is a hell of a thing to behold.

  • God, I was so behind wondering what NFT’s were. Then I found out. Then I found out they used blockchains for them??? Then I realised how harmful to the environment they could potentially be???

    Fuck me sideways, it’s like Hitler, Stalin, Satan and Saddam got together and said ‘We need a digital asset all of our own…’

  • I haven’t watched it fully yet just a snippet, but Troy Baker had hour long conversation with Alana Pierce and their game developer friends about the tweet.

    Like how his poorly wording of “hate or create” was a trigger.

    Like there is a need for a better way to manage sound/voice/music sampling online market place, but the NFT technology is not it.

    Talking to Troy Baker about his NFT tweet | Play, Watch, Listen #90

      • Jumping on the grift train takes you to bullshit station. If he didn’t know what a bad look this would be, he needs better PR people. Or some care to research before he slaps his face on a thing.

  • > “Voice NFTs provide intrinsic utility in addition to a fantastic community,” claims the project. “You can’t right click either of these.”

    … are they implying that sounds can’t be recorded?

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!