Bayonetta fans have really been through the wringer these past few weeks. The game is out now on Nintendo Switch, but people still had to dodge spoilers after they made their way onto the internet. Much of the hullabaloo revolves around the voice talent, which saw a shake-up during development.
Voice actress Hellena Taylor portrayed Bayonetta in the first two games, but she was replaced by Jennifer Hale for the third. A different voice led to some interesting fan theories, but as it turns out, the switch was solely due to behind-the-scenes drama. Taylor took to Twitter about two weeks before the game’s launch to claim that she was offered an “insulting” pay rate for the third entry in the series. She asked fans to boycott the new game as a result.
Conflicting reports about pay then came to the surface at Bloomberg, but things didn’t stop there. Hale only offered a vague statement about the issue, though in fairness she was simply hired to do a job and is bound by an NDA. Regardless, developer Platinum Games took her side in the whole debacle. To make matters worse, Taylor corroborated Bloomberg’s reports, leading to contradictions of her own. The whole thing is a mess.
That mess keeps getting, well, messier. Taylor has asked those participating in the boycott to send the money they would’ve spent on the game to some recommended charities. They’re admirable causes, with one exception. As Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier (who wrote the previous pay reports) points out, one is “a Kentucky group that runs anti-abortion billboards.” Regardless of one’s philosophy, that doesn’t sound like ‘charitable’ work.
Even at launch, Bayonetta 3 can’t escape these shadows. The game itself has also received criticism for its ending, which is causing controversy all on its own. If we ever get a fourth game in the series, these issues will likely end up surfacing yet again.