Whitewashing has been a major caveat in recent years, with characters often being depicted by Western actors putting on their “best” accents. However, Ubisoft sounds willing to learn from the industry’s past mistakes as they have vowed to employ as many Greek actors as possible for the next installment of Assassin’s Creed.
Lydia Andrews, audio director of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, shared the change in philosophy during an interview with VG24/7.
“What we tried to do was look for actors who are Greek or have Greek ancestry,” Andrew said.
“We really felt like it was a nice opportunity for us to have a deep dive into the culture of Greece and obviously Ancient Greece. You can have a great actor who’s great at accents, and that’s fantastic, but you can also find great Greek actors and work with them too.”
Who knew actors were a global phenomenon?
Although it sounds a little ludicrous to think that actors close to the makers’ studio are used in place of region specific nationals, you only have to think of the costs involved. Video games are by their very nature costly enterprises. And as technology becomes more sophisticated those costs will continue to grow.
Unfortunately there are few avenues during the development process where money can be saved, but one of those is in the acting and voiceovers. After all, your creed compared to the character’s is irrelevant as computer graphics clothe your movements, and dubious accents have become mainstay in the media sector. The costs involved with traveling around the world recording scripts or assisting someone with the Visa system is obviously deemed too high when Barry from down the street has said, ‘There ain’t no mountain too high or accent too foreign for me, pal!’
But, alas, he lied; what a surprise.
It is, however, odd that with all our mod-cons, it hasn’t been made the norm to use country-specific voiceovers by using actors working remotely. Fine, you might need to send someone along to supervise the process, but the actual talking parts can be recorded on a small device and sent globally almost instantly. I’ll admit the movements need to be centred on a teched-up studio but the speech doesn’t. Or that despite how multicultural our towns and cities are now, developers can’t find a suitable candidate from their locale talent pool. Then again, what do I know?
What’s your biggest accent peeve in a game? Please translate in the comments box below.
Living life one Batmobile chase at a time. When she’s not writing about video games, she’s writing terrible jokes that even a Christmas cracker would be embarrassed to share.