The voice actor of Niko from Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 was only paid $100,000 to do his acting. You might think it is a lot, but over the period of time they were making the game it isn't that much.

Voice actor Michael Hollick was paid £100,000 for his fifteen-month stint as Niko Bellic in Grand Theft Auto IV.

Hollick, who was an unknown quantity before the game's blockbuster success, has mixed opinions on whether or not he was given a reasonable amount for his role in the biggest entertainment product of all time.

"Obviously I'm incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity," he said last week according to the New York Times.

"But it's tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they're making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don't see any of it.

"I don't blame Rockstar," he was quick to add. "I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games. Yes, the technology is important, but it's the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies."

In most other mediums, Hollick would have been paid royalties for his voice appearing in the product. He said that he "asked about residuals when we negotiated, but I was told that was not a possibility."

The issue is further clouded by the inclusion of his voice in other media outlets advertising the game, including television, film, radio and the internet.

Unsurprisingly, other voice-actors in the game earned significantly less than Hollick. Ryan Johnston, who played Patrick McReary, said that he was paid $1,050 a day.

It must be terrible to earn $1,000 a day.
| More
News story attached to:
Additional sources:
Images about this story:
Latest comment:
Most recently commented on by on May 25, 2008
Register as a member to subscribe comments.
  • 1
    Warsun May 21, 08
    I think as videogames are taken more seriously, that eventually the voice actors will start receiving royalties. Also, it's odd how CVG put the dollar sign in the title of the article, but the pound sign in the article itself.
    • -2
      Guticb May 21, 08
      I sure hope they start getting paid more.

      At the same time though, I don't think he did a very good job as Niko. His Bosnian sounds like absolute SHIT (It's my first language yet I can't even understand things he says in it) and he did a bad job with faking an accent. =/
      • 5
        Cdemon May 21, 08
        I thought he did an incredible job. Best GTA character ever, hands down.
  • 2
    Cdemon May 21, 08
    £100k, not $100k. Isn't £100k closer to $200k?
    • 2
      Warsun May 21, 08
      According to other sources, the number is $100,000. CVG just made a mistake in that part of the article. Their title is accurate, however.
  • 0
    Slumpy monkey May 21, 08
    Thats quite alot jsut for one project, Although I do think he should have been paid more.
  • 0
    Oogity_Boogity_Boo May 21, 08
    He should've been paid more for it, he did a great job. That's one thing I love about the GTA games, the voice acting always has so much emotion.
  • 1
    Bale Fire May 21, 08
    This isn't that bad, I doubt many other companies pay there voice actors so well.

    Still for the amount of success this game has had its peanuts
    • 0
      Warsun May 21, 08
      Yeah, but he worked 15 months for $100,000, while actors in movies and such can work 6 weeks and earn millions. They need to fix how voice actors are paid.
  • 1
    huntyr May 21, 08
    well known actors get millions. unknown actors not so much. If I was an unknown voice actor, I'd be happy for $100,000 and a solid item on my resume.
  • 0
    Dio May 21, 08
    Yeah, I read about this in the NY Times this morning.

    They said in the movie business, he would be possibly making millions. But voicing Niko in GTAIV only netted him $100k over 15 months, which is nothing nowadays.

    I think as video games get more and more cinematic, voice actors will be paid more. Video games in a few years will feel like interactive movies. (some already do)
    • 0
      EricTetz May 22, 08
      "voicing Niko in GTAIV only netted him $100k over 15 months, which is nothing nowadays"

      He actually worked for less 1/3rd of that time. It would take a high school teacher nearly 3 years to make as much as he did for less than 5 months work. Assuming 8 hours days, he got like $130 an hour. He was very well paid, above scale for his profession.

      Think about the musicians who perform all the songs on, say, a Michael Jackson or Garth Brooks album that sells 20+ million copies. Do they get rich? No. They get paid a flat fee for the gig. Why? BECAUSE THEY AREN'T THE REASON PEOPLE ARE BUYING THE ALBUMS.

      Nobody bought Mariah's latest album because Mary Ann Tatum sang backing vocals on it. Nobody bought GTA IV because they knew Michael Hollick was going to be in it.

      "They said in the movie business, he would be possibly making millions."

      *lol* Yes, if he was a famous actor, he could be making millions, but he's not!

      That's like me going to my boss today and saying, "Hey, Brian, I know my wage is fair, but IF I WAS BILL GATES I would be getting millions. Pay me as if I was him. Thanks."

      "I think as video games get more and more cinematic, voice actors will be paid more. Video games in a few years will feel like interactive movies. (some already do)"

      Voice actors will get fat paychecks and/or royalties when people start buying games because they are in it, if that ever happens. Guys like Will Smith or Jack Black get paid millions because HAVING THEM IN THE MOVIE SELLS TICKETS. People pay to see them. The majority of actors in any given film are not given royalties, and do not make millions.

      Until such a day that people buy games because they have Michael Hollick in them, he'll be a union worker getting paid his union wage, just like the majority of musicians and actors.
  • 0
    Heretic May 21, 08
    Eh i think he should get a percentage for everygame sold.
  • -1
    Subzer0 May 21, 08
    lol

    Sucks for him. He must be at least upset.
    • 2
      Ameer May 22, 08
      Yeah, I'd be *bleep*ing upset with $100,000 in my pocket.
      • -1
        Subzer0 May 22, 08
        $100,000 is nothing compared to how much he could have gotten with all the time he spent on Niko's voice. Rockstar is being greedy. Especially with all the money they made.
  • 0
    Synergized May 21, 08
    I'd be happy to take 100 grand to do some voice acting, but, true, he should've recieved more.
  • 0
    Supernouva May 21, 08
    Rockstar made hundreds of millions of dollars off of GTAIV. Those bastards need to give that man the credit he deserves and pay him at least $500,000.
  • 3
    Team Xtreme May 21, 08
    $100,000 is plenty of money for a no-name talent for 15 months work. I mean yeah it could be a bit more, but he had no name value before this game.

    He was clearly happy enough with the pay to sign on for the job so he shouldn't be bitching now that the game is a huge success.
    • 2
      Ameer May 25, 08
      Indeed. That job has got him exposure, which only a huge amount of money can buy.
  • -3
    tracemastax May 21, 08
    Shit id probably make a better niko than him, cuz i have I actually speak russian. And its not like he stayed there for like 8 hours every single day doing his couple of voice lines over and over again, like movie stars who actually have to do it over and over again until it looks and sounds good enough for millions to see. I mean throughout the game, he probably has about maybe 10 minutes worth of lines?
    I bet he worked fulltime throghout the period, and just came into the rockstar periodically when they were finished with a section and needed for niko to say some lines... if anything $100,000 is a good and even sum. He could buy a very very nice car for that price, or take an entire year or two off of working, or even invest/ save for retirement. That guy got a hell of a sweet deal, but still interesting to know just how much the voices of blockbuster games get paid.
    Plus, gta costs like 7-10 times more than the average movie ticket, depending on where your from so its unfair to not consider movies.
  • 2
    BANDITO ATTACK May 22, 08
    somehow i doubt getting payed 1k every day isn't paying his bills and putting food on his table
    o the humanity
  • 1
    Storm May 22, 08
    Haha, that's reasonable, imo. Maybe he should get some interest from the sales.
  • 1
    Bri May 22, 08
    Well, when a game makes half of a billion dollars for the parent company...really, since everyone involved- the developers and the voice actors came together to make it possible, they all should be paid accordingly, and in my mind it should be more than the 100K done here, though in hindsight, that is also a lot of money.

This news story is archived and is closed to comments now.