Bayonetta 3: Ongoing controversy between Hellena Taylor and PlatinumGames explained

The current fiasco featuring Bayonetta series voice actress Hellna Taylor has reached a tipping point (Images via Nintendo)
The current fiasco featuring Bayonetta series voice actress Hellna Taylor has reached a tipping point (Images via Nintendo)

Over the past few days, SEGA's underrated hack & slash series Bayonetta has hit the mainstream spotlight on social media. This is due to an ongoing controversy involving voice actor Hellena Taylor.

After Taylor accused developer PlatinumGames of undervaluing and underpaying her, studio co-founder Hideki Kamiya stepped in to publicly deny her claims.

At this point, it has turned into a game of pointing fingers, with both sides garnering sympathizers and doubters. Additionally, new information has recently come to light that adds to the confusion, so here is a rundown of everything that has occurred so far.

The drama between Hellena Taylor and Bayonetta developer PlatinumGames has escalated into a "whodunnit?" scenario

1) A surprise revelation by Hellena Taylor

Hellena Taylor has long been the voice actress behind the titular protagonist in SEGA's hack & slash series, Bayonetta. However, she was confirmed not to be returning for the third installment.

While fans wondered about the cause of her absence, she eventually broke her silence and addressed the situation.

On October 15, 2022, Taylor uploaded a bunch of videos where she opened up about what was allegedly going on in the background. To everyone's surprise, she claimed that PlatinumGames only offered her a sum of 4000 USD for recording voiceovers for the game.

According to her, the Bayonetta series earned approximately 450 million USD (minus merchandise). If this is true, 4000 USD is insultingly low pay for the voice actress, who has urged fans to boycott the third installment of the franchise.

The revelation was followed by an outcry from fans expressing their support. Things worsened infinitely when PlatinumGames' Hideki Kamiya commented on the issue.

2) Hideki Kamiya responds, and things start to heat up

Sad and deplorable about the attitude of untruth. That's what all I can tell now.By the way, BEWARE OF MY RULES.

Hideki Kamiya responded to Hellena Taylor's allegations, starting with the tweet above. The post, paired with his usual threats of mass-blocking users who questioned him, resulted in massive backlash.

For those unaware, Kamiya has earned himself a reputation on Twitter for outright blocking anyone and everyone who does not follow his pinned rules. Anyone who berated him about Taylor or even interacted with her post was outright blocked.

Of course, this did not stop the influx of irate fans, and Kamiya retaliated with a wave of blocks. Things escalated so much that Twitter had to temporarily block Kamiya's account on suspicion that it had been hacked after he blocked so many people in a short period of time.

This caused Bayonetta to become a trending topic on Twitter and other social media.

3) Current voice actress Jennifer Hale makes a statement

Since Hellena Taylor is a no-show for the third installment, she has been replaced by popular voice actress Jennifer Hale.

Hale has some serious experience under her belt. She has voiced iconic characters, such as Ashe (Overwatch 2), Rivet (Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart), Commander Shepard (Mass Effect 3), and Bastila Shan (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic).

However, fans have been apprehensive about her role and performance. With the current controversy, it was only given that she would have to speak up, too.

Hale released a public statement, citing her support for underpaid workers in the industry. The Bayonetta 3 NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) prevented her from answering specific questions, but she stated that she doesn't want fans to boycott Bayonetta 3.

This has divided fans into two parties, but there is more to come to convolute the mess even further.

4) Industry insiders get their hands dirty

Taylor's videos also led to a barrage of Twitter vitriol and harassment toward Platinum developers and new Bayonetta actor Jennifer Hale, who put out a statement saying she could not comment and subsequently retweeted a telling thread:

After Hideki Kamiya's response and Jennifer Hale's statement caused Bayonetta fans to turn their pitchforks on them, industry insiders took it upon themselves to get to the root of the issue.

According to Bloomberg's Jason Schreier, sources close to the matter claim that things are not as black and white as they seem. According to his sources, here's what happened:

  • Hellena Taylor was not offered 4000 USD for one project but rather 4000-5000 USD for four to five sessions for said project. That amounts to 15-20K USD in total.
  • This amount is much higher than the pay she received for the second game, which was released in 2014.
  • She allegedly requested a six-figure amount, something she had denied in her videos.

Other insiders, like those on the website VGC, also seem to corroborate these claims. So what is really going on here?

At this point, there is still not enough information to go on. Currently, these corroborative sources seem to have the upper hand, leaving Taylor's claims in the red zone. As such, fans can only wait and hope for a quick conclusion.

Bayonetta 3 is headed to Nintendo Switch exclusively on October 28, 2022.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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