This year, gamers began to notice a new trend in the industry, with Hollywood actors appearing more and more in games, giving their appearance to a character, fully acting out their role. There have been actors in games before, but this year it was noticeable because of two things: the great Hollywood cast in Death Stranding and Keanu Reeves as Joni Silverhand in Cyberpunk 2077. Let's see if there is a connection here, and how close it is. .
Why did this trend appear?
At first it seemed to me that this was just my observation. However, during the heated discussion of E3, several people at once asked my opinion on the topic of why actors in games began to appear more often, and why this is happening. Could this lead in the near future to the fact that publishers and developers, instead of creating new characters, will recruit a Hollywood cast?
Before answering why this is unlikely to happen, let us analyze, but does this very trend exist at all? She's not there. This is just a classic case of fortunate circumstances, nothing more. In our case, it so happened that the trailer for Death Stranding and the presentation of the new trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 came out with a time interval of a week from each other. Respawn Entertainment also added fuel to the fire with their Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order starring Cameron Monaghen as Cal Kestis. Although, having this actor in the lead role in the game did not get so much attention.
Naturally, many people, after seeing so many high-quality actors in several AAA projects at once, have the impression that this is somehow connected.
Besides, it's also about Death Stranding itself. We've known for a long time that there are three famous personalities in the game: Norman Reedus, Mads Mikkelsen, and Lindsay Wagner. This trinity constantly flashed on Kojima's instagram and early trailers, well, Hideo has been doing this for a long time with Reedus. The rest of the star cast remained under wraps until the last trailer came out.
Therefore, when it was published, the caste of the game became a cognitive avalanche for people, covering their heads. The celebrity of the cast, posters with him, a huge amount of news, all this just laid in our heads the idea that, probably, there is some kind of regularity between the appearance of actors in games. And when Keanu Reeves blew up the stage at E3, it further strengthened our confidence. However, as you can see now, the circumstances just happened.
I do not think that in the future the actors will replace the original characters for us, because in the world of gaming everything works differently than in the movies. Characters in games should always have individual, memorable traits. This is one of the conditions that promise that the project will be remembered by people for a long time. Yes, you can use an eminent actor, but using the same thing in different games is already a sign of laziness and parasitism at fame. Just imagine that in every second shooter we will play for Arnold Schwarzenegger. As for me, once would be cool, the second time is not the same. I'll clarify that now I'm only talking about GG.
In games, this does not look like, since the heroes are the face of the game, what they associate with it, so they must be individual. In addition, it is unlikely that developers will refuse to create new original characters, otherwise it looks like a limitation of creative freedom.
How does this happen?
We have to admit that using a Hollywood actor makes sense. Moreover, everything is quite banal and obvious - this will attract hype, a large audience and attention of not only specialized media, plus, professional acting. The same CD Project Red do not hide that Reeves' involvement is partly due to the fact that this way their new project will receive a lot of publicity.
For Kojima, things are a little different. We do not exclude all of the above, but in his case it is also personal. If you know a little more about Kojima than he is the genius and author of Metal Gear Solid, it's no secret to you that he loves movies. Hideo himself says that 80% consists of films. This is where his love for cinematic scenes comes from, as well as his desire to make a project with a large number of excellent actors, selected according to his taste. He approaches it more as a creator. And he has been working with Guillermo del Toro and Norman Reedus since the canceled Silent Hills, where the latter was supposed to play the main role.
Although it's worth clarifying that some of the actors are just special guests in his latest game. For example, directors Guillermo del Toro and Nicholas Winding Refn will not play any roles in the game, they only presented their appearance to the heroes, while other people will play and voice the roles.
We figured out that actors will continue to appear in games, but this will most likely remain at the level of single cases. So it was before, so it will continue. Many developers refuse to work with stars because of their inflated conceit [and equally inflated fees]. For example, one of the Rockstar executives, Den House, is of this opinion, and also believes that when players hear the voice of a Hollywood actor or see it in the game, the "wow" effect disappears. The impression that you are in another completely original world fades into the background.
Voice acting is another matter. If there can be complaints about the frequent use of appearance, then nothing about the voice acting. This is exactly the kind of use of Hollywood actors in games that is actively promoted.
Cases of actors appearing in games
Finally, to reinforce the idea that actors have always been used in games, let's remember their appearance in the past.
Samuel L. Jackson as Tenpini Officer [GTA San Andreas]
There is no better role for Samuel L. Jackson than the one where he is allowed to swear a lot and that's a fact. One such role is Officer Tenpini from San Andreas, who ruined CJ's life for the entire game. In the future, he did not return to video games, as he does not have a special love for them.
Jack Black - Eddie Riggs [Brutal Legend]
You probably know this actor for his role as Po in "Kung Fu Panda", as well as for such films as "Soldier of Failure", "Jumanji", well, and the chosen ones know him for the film "The Mediator of Destiny". Jack has admitted more than once that he loves games, and it was from him that the image of the main character of the game Brutal Legend was written off, he also voiced it. Initially, the role was considered by the vocalist of the group Motorhead, but did not agree. Ozzy Osbourne has a cameo in the same game.
Mark Hemmil - Joker, Observer [Batman Series, Darksiders]
Although Mark Hemmil has not personally appeared in games, he has voiced the Joker in all projects in the Arkchem series, except Origins. He also voiced the Observer in the first Darksiders. The mere presence of Luke Skywalker in the games industry is very encouraging.
Willem Dafoe, Ellen Page starring in Beyond: Two Souls
In many ways, they tried to create the success of this project precisely at the expense of these two actors, although it was possible to attract them with difficulty. Defoe, for example, did not consider games to be something cool or serious, so he had to be convinced that he would have more creative freedom here. It's a shame the project came out pretty average.
Aaron Staton - Cole Phelps [LA Noire]
Aaron Staton does not have a cool career on par with other people on this list, but he pioneered the transfer of the actor's appearance to the game, and accurate capture of facial movements using Motion Capture. For this he should be given credit.
Elijah Wood - Broken Age, Spyro
Our beloved and ageless Frodo also distinguished himself, and appeared in the voice acting of the protagonist of the Broken Age quest about teenage difficulties, and he also voiced Spyro from the Legend of Spyro game series.
If you think that only Kojima is able to collect a bunch of actors under his project, then you are wrong. In the end, here are the top 3 games with the most Hollywood actors:
Famous guys like Sean Ashmore, Aidan Gillen and Dominic Monaghan starred here. This was due not only to the desire to catch up with the hype, but also to the fact that in parallel with the game a series was released, which was directly related to the events of Quantum Break, where the same actors played.
2. Call of Duty
It's hard to compare with the Hollywood hodgepodge that Activision has put together in their flagship series. Who just played and appeared there. Starting from Gary Oldman and Kevin Spicy, who appeared in several parts of the series at once, ending with Keith Harington, Michael Keaton, Denny Trejo, Idris Elba and many others.
1. Star Citizen
Someday this game will be released. Someday…. The project was a regular indie game that grew to the AAA level. Having received a huge budget, the creators decided to make a full-fledged storyline company with a bunch of Hollywood stars: Gary Oldman, Mark Hemmil, Andy Serkis, Henry Kevil, Liam Kinningham, Mark Strong and others.
As you can see, actors in games have always appeared in considerable numbers, but they will never replace full-fledged characters, you can be sure.
The Topic of Article: Why did Hollywood actors appear more often in games? Analyzing the trend.