Update - July 14: Genshin Impact developer Hoyoverse responded to a request for comment and affirmed that it supports the voice actors seeking proper payment from recording studio Formosa, which the company says it has properly paid for its services.
Here's the full statement send to GamesRadar+:
“We truly regret to learn about the ongoing situation. Genshin Impact values and respects the work and effort of everyone involved, and we support our voice actors to claim their proper due. We have made payments to our recording studio on time, and we have immediately urged the studio to pay our voice actors. Meanwhile, we are also seeking alternative solutions. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.”
Original story follows...
Multiple Genshin Impact voice actors, including the voice of Paimon, the face of the game, claim they have not been paid for their work in months.
Corina Boettger, the voice of Paimon, alleged months of missing payment in a recent tweet which does not name the project in question, though their comments elsewhere leave no room for doubt. "I am owed thousands of dollars," they write. "I am struggling currently to pay rent because of this. This project has made billions. This project should be union."
"This wouldn't happen if the game was union," they added in a reply. "Tell them to make the game SAG," Boettger said, referring to SAG-AFTRA, which represents many people in the entertainment industry across several fields and disciplines.
Due to these issues, Boettger says they have now missed two days of planned recordings.
Boettger specified that "we don't know if this is the fault of the studio or the game company," distinguishing between Hoyoverse itself and the studio used for the middleman on VO. Supporting Genshin Impact voice actor Brandon Winckler was more specific in his allegations, which skewer VO studio Formosa in particular.
"After a fifth email with no response," a thread from Winckler begins, "this is regarding Genshin Impact. Inexcusable for us as actors to be waiting 4+ months for pay when you make $86 million per month. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem."
"Many non-union productions have this problem, I've waited anywhere from 4-8 months for payment, and even then, it isn't much to ask," he continues. "1,000 here, 500 there, and it adds up fast."
"With all that said, I personally won't be working on this game anymore unless it goes under a Union contract," Winckler adds, echoing Boettger's call for union representation.
In a separate post, Winckler said he has "asked and emailed and called and everything else that is in my power as an actor to do with Formosa - and received little/no response."
Another user pointed out that Formosa is not the only studio that Hoyoverse uses for English VO in its games, citing Honkai Star Rail's usage of studio Rocket Sound. Winckler, who has also voiced in Star Rail, said he "loves" Rocket Sound, again putting Formosa in the hot seat.
Boettger says they're aware of Winckler's allegations, and clarified that "we are not the only ones." The complaints have been picked up by other voice actors as well. Kyle McCarley, who also weighed in on the discussion over Skyrim mods using deepfakes of voice actors in NSFW projects, noted that Formosa handles both union and non-union projects. Boettger likewise pointed out that Formosa "has several union games it works on."
"This game has been eroding VO industry standards since it started recording," McCarley says. "The cast had to fight for over a year just to get a [two-hour minimum]. Now this? Whole cast should follow Brandon's lead here."
The Genshin Impact community has rallied around these voice actors as well. "That’s absolutely crazy to see happen. What on Earth would possess the studio to not pay the person that is in there the most recording so much," writes one user. Another agrees "this is messed up ... Paimon has more dialogue than anybody in the game and to not pay them is wrong."
I've reached out to the affected actors, Hoyoverse, and Formosa for comment on the situation.
Genshin Impact recently revealed the Fontaine characters that will make its next billion dollars along with their voice actors.