Recently, Corina Boettger has taken to social media, mainly TikTok, to post her grievances regarding her role as Paimon’s English voice actor in the hit gacha game Genshin Impact. Corina Boettger has also voiced her support for the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, saying that she and other Genshin Impact voice actors will not work until they get paid.
According to Boettger, she and several other voice actors, including Brandon Winckler (listed as Kazuha’s friend), have not received payment in previous months despite continuing to work on the game. In Corina Boettger’s case, she says she had payments due as far back as December 2022, but that she kept working despite the lack of payment.
Now, Paimon’s English voice actor says she is under threat of losing her apartment and other basic needs due to the absence of wages. Boettger has since voiced her refusal to work until she gets paid. She says she is also worried that she and other unpaid voice actors might get fired for their stance.
Why aren’t the Genshin Impact voice actors getting paid?
MiHoYo or HoYoverse relies on a middleman or third-party recording studio to handle their voice actors. The third-party company is called Formosa Interactive.
Paimon’s English voice actor states that she’s not exactly sure who to blame, in particular between HoYoverse and Formosa Interactive, regarding the failed payments and payment backlog.
However, in a statement sent to VideoGames.si, HoYoverse has expressed that they have paid their dues to Formosa Interactive and that there is no reason on their end for the latter to hold or fail the regular payments for their Genshin Impact voice actors.
Furthermore, HoYoverse has also declared its support for the Genshin Impact voice actors and their rights—all pending payments included. At the moment, HoYoverse is now urging Formosa to hopefully fulfill all unpaid wages to their Genshin Impact voice actors.
They’re also apparently seeking alternative solutions, which they have yet to publicize at the time of writing.
What Will Happen to Paimon’s Voice Actor and Others?
Since Hoyoverse has already announced its support for Genshin Impact voice actors, we can only hope for a positive outcome for Corina Boettger and the other affected voice actors. Fans and Boettger herself expressed fear of termination or replacement though HoYoverse’s official support could lead to more favorable solutions.
The two aforementioned Genshin Impact voice actors for the game’s English language have been the most vocal recently regarding the lack of payment and their struggles working for free for several months.
The other one, Brandon Winckler, has even claimed to have sent a total of five emails in the past months, presumably to the agency that handles the Genshin Impact voice actors, to follow up on the payments that stretch back over four months.
Corina Boettger has also called for Genshin Impact’s talents to be unionized and to join SAG or the Screen Actors Guild, which is a union that represents the rights and welfare of entertainment industry workers. Boettger has argued that the late payments likely would not have happened if Genshin Impact talents unionized or were under the protection of SAG.
Additionally, Boettger surmises that union intervention would not only ensure that she got paid but that the studio in question would receive penalties.
Issues with Formosa Interactive in the Past
According to Boettger, the issue with her and her fellow talents’ payments is a recurring issue and has already happened in the past. It was something they had to endure for a long time, especially since Genshin Impact has been out as a live service game for nearly three years now.
Formosa Interactive was one of the few companies pointed out in the previous 2016-2017 SAG-AFTRA strike for video game voice actors. Back then, Formosa Interactive LLC was among the eleven video game talent companies for whom video game voice actors had problems regarding wage and occupational hazards.
Also, recently this year, Formosa Group CEO Bob Rosenthal resigned from the company for unclear reasons. Formosa Group refused to respond to statement requests regarding Rosenthal’s resignation.
The Call for Genshin Impact Talents to Unionize
As part of her conclusion, Corina Boettger insisted that Genshin Impact and all its talents should join SAG so that everyone who works on the project could be protected from such predicaments and further attempts at exploitation from any agency or studio.
After all, Boettger adds, Genshin Impact is a project that has made billions, partly due to its Battle Pass and other premium payment structures.
SAG, in partnership with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), is one of the largest labor unions comprising actors, voice actors, journalists, singers, and many other entertainment industry workers worldwide.
At the moment, SAG-AFTRA is holding a strike in Hollywood following worries about unsatisfactory wages and the use of AI to replace roles in film and TV.
Back in 2019, only around 20 percent of all video game industry talent roles were unionized or part of a union, despite SAG-AFTRA’s rules also applying to interactive video games. And while SAG-AFTRA can’t confirm the official tally for its members in the video game industry, the union has recognized video games as a growth area for membership.
Meanwhile, Boettger has called for fans and authorities in the matter to join SAG and to express support for their work as voice actors. Whether Genshin Impact will allow its talents to join SAG or unionize is a whole other matter entirely though it could prove to be a more ideal or safer solution for Genshin Impact voice actors.
As of now, fans hold out in the hope that Paimon’s voice actor and other Genshin Impact characters or voice actors get paid their dues for all their hard work. Because at the moment, Paimon is on strike and has expressed solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA strike.