Genshin Impact Voice Actors Claim to be Owed Thousands from Dubbing Studio Formosa

Genshin Impact voice actors are owed thousands
Credit: HoYoverse

Genshin Impact voice actors are owed thousands
Credit: HoYoverse

Formosa Interactive, the studio responsible for the English dub of Genshin Impact, is currently under scrutiny for not paying their voice actors in a timely manner. HoYoverse, the multi-billion-dollar franchise and developer of the immensely popular open-world action RPG Genshin Impact, is no stranger to controversies and has promptly issued a statement addressing this matter.

Brandon Winckler and Corina Boettger, two prominent English dub voice actors that have worked on Genshin Impact have come forward with claims that they've gone almost half a year without payment for their work, and called for the project to be unionised to better protect their rights.

Genshin Impact voice actors are not getting paid

On July 11th, Brandon Winckler, who was credited with roles such as Kazuha's friend Tomo, Nervous An, and other additional voices, took to Twitter to address the issue of unpaid acting work. In his initial tweet, he forewarned that he has prepared a big “callout thread”, and signified his frustrations at not being paid for the “BIGGEST video game project out there” for over three months.

A screenshot of Brandon Winckler Twitter thread
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Credit: Brandon Winckler
Brandon Winckler twitter thread

In his follow-up tweet on 13 July, he revealed the game in question to be Genshin Impact. Winckler expressed deep frustrations, deeming it "inexcusable" for actors to wait for months to receive their pay, particularly considering the game's reported monthly revenue of $86 million. He further highlighted that this issue is unfortunately not an isolated incident and happens more frequently than one might expect.

Winckler continued to express his frustrations through subsequent tweets, highlighting the pitfalls of non-union productions. He states that it becomes increasingly difficult to justify working on a project when it doesn't provide enough income to meet basic needs, and that “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. 1000 here, 500 there, and it adds up fast". In light of these ongoing challenges, Brandon made the decision to no longer work on Genshin Impact unless it operates under a union contract.

A screenshot Corina Boettger's tweet
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Credit: Corina Boettger
Corina Boettger tweet

Shortly after Winckler's Twitter thread, Corina Boettger, a prominent voice in Genshin Impact known for her portrayal of the iconic character Paimon, joined the conversation regarding the ongoing payment issue. Boettger's extensive contributions to the game, acting as the Traveller's companion with a significant speaking role throughout the entire game, has left fans shocked to learn that she had not received payment for over six months. Corina openly shared her struggles with paying rent, directly attributing it to the lack of compensation for her work on the game. She expressed strong agreement with Winckler's stance, emphasising that the project should operate under a union.

Numerous fans have come forward to support Winckler and Boettger amidst the controversy. One fan expressed their astonishment at the lack of payment for Boettger's significant contributions as the voice of Paimon, describing it as "simply ridiculous”. Another fan ruminates that a game as massive as Genshin Impact should have been unionised from the beginning, considering its substantial monthly revenue of around $86 million. The general sentiment among fans is that “exposure alone doesn't pay the bills”, and that Winckler and Boettger should receive proper compensation for their work as soon as possible.

Aspiring voice actors have also expressed their concerns and hesitations about entering the industry due to these pervasive issues.

A screenshot of HoYoverse's statement
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Credit: HoYoverse
HoYoverse statement

HoYoverse has recently issued an official statement regarding the ongoing issue, expressing regret and acknowledging the significance of valuing the contributions of voice actors. They have confirmed that payments to the recording studio were made on time and have urged the studio to promptly compensate the voice actors.

It appears that Formosa Interactive, rather than HoYoverse, is the culprit this time around. Fans have praised HoYoverse for their swift response to the matter and noted their proactive approach in rectifying past controversies, such as the replacement of Tighnari's voice actor.

Formosa past controversies

Fans are convinced that Formosa Interactive, the studio responsible for Genshin Impact's English dubbing, is at fault, given the fact that the game's Japanese, Korean, and Chinese voice actors have been paid on time. This disparity in payment has raised suspicions among fans regarding Formosa Interactive's practices.

A screenshot of Formosa controversy 2016
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Credit: Ashikai
Formosa controversy 2016

Furthermore, it is important to note that Formosa Interactive was one of the 11 companies called out during the SAG-AFTRA's 2016-2017 videogame voice actor strike, which adds a historical context to the studio's delayed payments to contracted employees.

Currently, we can only remain hopeful that the voice actors will be paid what they are due. It is possible that the voice actors may demand more stringent payment terms for their work moving forward. Considering that Honkai: Star Rail is dubbed by a different studio, it is possible that HoYoverse might contemplate a transition as well.

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