Earlier this month, voice actor Troy Baker announced his controversial partnership with VoiceVerse NFT, a new NFT project that would see Baker’s voice digitized for use by anyone willing to purchase the NFT. But after two weeks of blowback, Baker announced today that he’s backing away from the project.
“Thank you all for your feedback and patience,” Baker wrote earlier today on Twitter. “After careful consideration, I’ve decided to not continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT. Intentions aside, I’ve heard you and apologize for accusing anyone of ‘ hating’ just by simply disagreeing with me.”
Baker has been fielding angry replies on Twitter ever since he announced his partnership with VoiceVerse NFT. The new project promised to essentially digitize the voice of Troy Baker and store it as an NFT, or Non-Fungible Token. That NFT could then be purchased by anyone who wanted to use Baker’s voice to create anything from audiobooks to YouTube videos. Baker would then receive royalty payments for any commercial works made using his voice.
However, NFTs have a number of inherent problems. The first and most obvious is that the digital infrastructure necessary to maintain an NFT on the blockchain requires an enormous amount of energy, and until the world transitions to entire green energy sources, that means NFTs directly contribute to the release of climate-changing gasses.
Additionally, the NFT market is rife with piracy, scams, and speculators. But perhaps the worst problem with NFTs is that nobody has yet provided a good reason for NFTs to exist.
While the idea of digitizing Troy Baker’s voice to use in any number of digital products is fine, that can be done without the use of NFTs. Existing infrastructure can store Baker’s voice as data and existing copyright law can ensure that voice is only used for approved projects.
It’s also questionable why Baker would have agreed to this project in the first place. Having an AI copying his voice would essentially put him out of a job. Perhaps this is less about bowing to the haters and more about Baker preserving his future career prospects.
NFTs aren’t Baker’s only controversy at the moment. Fans are accusing Baker of reneging on promised physical rewards from a 2017 crowdfunding project that never quite got off the ground. It’d be fine if Baker provided refunds, but so far those refunds haven’t materialized.
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