Update [Mon 31st Jan, 2022 14:55 GMT]: Troy Baker has announced that he will not "continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT" following the negative reaction to his initial announcement.
Update [Fri 14th Jan, 2022 18:00 GMT]: Troy Baker has taken to Twitter once again following his endorsement of voice NFTs earlier today and admitted that the 'hate/create' question might have been "a bit antagonistic":
The voice actor's earlier tweets stirred up quite the reaction online — see below for more details.
Is anyone else getting Notting Hill vibes from that "I’m just a storyteller out here trying to tell my story" line? Just us? Anyhow, the conversation continues below.
Original Story: Troy Baker, voice actor extraordinaire featured in pretty much all of the video games from Bloodrayne to Bioshock, Borderlands to Batman, has announced a partnership with NFT company Voiceverse NFT.
Yes, arguably the most famous voice actor in games (seriously, he's been in everything) has jumped on the non-fungible bandwagon, as evidenced by his appropriately vague announcement on Twitter that asks readers if they are going to "hate" or "create".
Here's the text of the tweet in full:
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?
The reaction? Well, you can probably guess the reaction. Here's a small sampling of the more family-friendly replies from fans to the 'voice of video games':
Details are vague about what exactly this means and how Baker will be involved with voice non-fungible tokens, but the company he's partnering with — Voiceverse NFT — explains its approach to them and their benefits thusly in a pinned Twitter thread:
Hey everyone - here is why our Voice NFTs are different from just owning jpegs.
Voice NFTs provide intrinsic utility in addition to a fantastic community. You can't right click either of these.
Voice NFTs provide unlimited, perpetual access to the underlying AI voice that the NFT represents ownership of. If you own a Voice NFT, you can create all kinds of voice content, and you will OWN all of the IP.
Imagine being able to create customized audiobooks, Youtube videos, e-learning lectures, or even podcasts with your favorite voice! All without the hassle of additional legal work. This also allows people with limited resources to access professional-grade voices more easily
Voice NFTs provide a new way for you to communicate and build up your persona in metaverse worlds. You can look like anyone you want in the metaverse, and now you can sound like the Voice NFT you own.
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!
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
Voice NFTs provide royalties to the original voice actor who was involved in building the NFT. If the value of the Voice NFT rises, the voice actor also benefits from the increased value. We are always keeping the human in the loop.
If it's just a SaaS product and not a NFT, we won't be able to create a truly decentralized solution in preparation for Web3, and the key really is for YOU to completely own the IP and is proven by the public, NOT managed by us.
We aren't saying Voice NFT is the perfect-child in the family of NFTs. We admit some of the short-comings, but we ask that you give it a chance without shunning it from the get-go, and look into what value and utility it can provide to the creator and gamer communities
Considering the environmental impact of NFTs and blockchain technology, not to mention the oftentimes questionable utility of them, the online reaction to the news is entirely predictable. Baker is far from the only celebrity to jump on the NFT bandwagon in recent months, but having provided the voices of so many beloved characters in games, it's no surprise that this controversial move is provoking such a strong reaction from fans.
Big hmm. Apparently, you can hate or you can create. Alternatively you can retch a bit, take a deep breath, and move along. If you can parse and explain the benefits of voice NFTs to us — preferably as you would to a young child — feel free to do so in the comments.