News: Kimberly Brooks, voice of Ashley Williams in the Mass Effect games, has spoken about the long hours and poor pay of video game voice acting, but also of the passion of her fans.
Speaking to StickTwiddlers, voice actress Kimberly Brooks – best known amongst gamers as the voice behind Mass Effect’s Ashley Williams – talks about her work with games and gamers, about the reaction of the fans to the most recent game. Whilst all interesting, it’s her candid response to the question “Would you say you love voice acting for video games more than TV?” that stands out:
Definitely not. It’s a lot more labour intensive. It’s the most labour intensive, it pays the least. The only good thing about it, and the best thing about it is the fans. They’re way more passionate, totally into it, totally supportive, they know what you’re into, they care.
If I told you how much I do, how much I work, how much major network television I do – I’m on the air every night! No one cares. Mass Effect? They’re here, they love it. It struck a chord. I’m totally grateful, but for me, and as far as the industry goes? It’s vocally stressful, labour intensive and you don’t receive any residuals.
As games makers have begun to measure their worth by the number of lines of voiced dialogue it’s powerful to hear Brooks feels so unappreciated by the industry. It sounds as though it plays into other criticisms from games writers that they’re brought on almost as an afterthought, a final sheen to a game as opposed to an intrinsic element.
Whether this will change in the years going forwards as particular voice actors rise to prominence amongst gamers will be interesting to see.