The Last of Us Voice Actor NFT Partnership Draws Criticism

Troy Baker voiced Joel in both Last of Us games.
Troy Baker voiced Joel in both Last of Us games. / Photo courtesy of Naughty Dog/Sony

Troy Baker, the video game voice actor best known for his work as Joel (The Last of Us), Booker DeWitt (BioShock Infinite) and Jonesy (Fortnite), has partnered with an NFT company.

Baker announced his partnership with Voiceverse NFT, a company that says it provides "the world's first VoiceNFTs," in a tweet published Friday morning.

"I'm partnering with @VoiceverseNFT to explore ways where together we might bring new tools to new creators to make new things, and allow everyone a chance to own & invest in IP's they create," Baker tweeted. "We all have a story to tell. You can hate. Or you can create. What'll it be?"

That provocative invitation has been taken up by thousands of Twitter users, who have lambasted Baker for supporting NFTs and for his dismissive tone. Critics highlighted the devastating environmental effects of minting NFTs and the prevalence of scams in the space as reasons for Baker to abandon the partnership.

Voiceverse NFT says its products would be AI voices, of which buyers could own the NFT. Users would then be able to use those AI voices to create their own content, and own the rights to that content by virtue of owning the NFT from which it was born. Voiceverse NFT also says its NFTs would pay royalties to the original voice actors responsible for the voices on which the AI voices are based.

In follow-up tweets several hours later, Baker walked back some of his gung-ho attitude, but did not appear to back out of the partnership.

"I always want to be a part of the conversation, even if sometimes that finds me in the midst of a loud one," Baker tweeted. "Appreciate y'all sharing your thoughts and giving me a lot to think about. I'm just a storyteller out here trying to tell my story to whomever will hear and hoping I can help others do the same.

"Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm grateful there are those who are passionate about their stance & not only feel safe to express that but also have the means to do so."

"The 'hate/create' part might have been a bit antagonistic... Hope y'all will forgive me for that."