In Film and Television, celebrity actors are all the rage. However, in the gaming industry, voice actors are the real celebrity “stars” gaining wide popularity with a large fan base. While Voice actors usually gained popularity through dubbing movies, and animation series, more recently, voiceover for games have become the main channel for fame. With the rise of Social Media platforms and voice actors creating their own content based on characters they have played in games, talents are able to create a large fan base by utilizing direct interaction with the users.
With the rising popularity of Korean Voice actors, we are often asked by clients to cast voice talents with marketing purposes already in mind. In this article, we would like to discuss some points to cover both the positive and negative aspects of this process.
[“Casting” – The first step towards successful Korean dubbing for your game] the importance of casting can also be found in a previous article.
In general, casting is a vital process that can have a great effect on the quality of the voice over at such an early stage of production. While an amateur will only consider the voice tone, a professional will consider acting performance range, personality, reliability and such. The most common cause of miscasting is when the client decides to use a talent with a similar voice tone as the original native voice. Many other factors must be considered, such as acting skills, ability to adapt speech and behavior tailored to the character’s personality. The characteristics of a role are mainly comprised of personality and speaking mannerisms, more so than the tone of voice.
Thus casting directors should be familiar with voice actor’s experiences, personality, acting style, sincerity, as well as costs and reliability for great casting results.
During the casting process mentioned above, if marketing factors suddenly intervene, the following problems may occur.
- Miscasting – If clients pick up a specific famous voice actor and cast it, it would be nice if the voice actor fits the character perfectly, but in fact, it rarely fits. In this case, if we have no choice but to cast according to the customer’s opinion.
- Cost increase – Marketers prefer famous voice actors, and the meaning of “famous” is a cost increase, so you may end up increasing the budget.
- Delayed Production Schedule – In the process of finalizing voice actors, the marketing department’s opinions must also be considered, which may delay production until the casting has been finalized.
Additionally, there are cases where actual recording sessions are filmed for behind the scenes or “making of” footage. For this type of situation we recommended scheduling a separate “shooting” schedule to avoid disruption to productions. In the actual recording session, all recording staffs like artistic director, engineer and voice actors prepare a lot and proceed in super-intensive mode so that they do not waste a minute in the recording session. If the filming is carried out, it will unintentionally interfere with preparation for the filming like setting of cameras and lights and too many attendants in a recording sessions.
If marketing content must be produced through voice actors,
- Discussion begins after all casting is completed: As mentioned before, casting is the area of production. Therefore, in the casting stage, casting itself should be given priority over marketing. It may be an unreasonable example, but except in specific cases, we do not design characters with a specific existing person in mind during the character design stage.
Therefore, we recommend that you complete the casting process from production and establish a marketing plan based on the casting list. It would be a best way to keep the quality of casting and marketing contents.
- Create Marketing content after all recording sessions have been completed: Even after deciding which voice actors to use for marketing content, we recommend that you create marketing content after all recording sessions have been completed. Removing the obstacles to the recording session, even the voice actors who produce marketing content can create better marketing content based on their understanding of the title during the recording session.
- A detail analysis of the target user of marketing content: In the case of famous Korean voice actors known to the public, they are usually older. It may be an extreme example, but if you use a famous voice actor in your 50s as marketing in a game that targets teenagers, it may not be well known and it may have the negative effect. Therefore, it is recommended to analyze the target user of the game and conduct marketing for the voice actors that the user base will like.
There are many cases where a talent’s acting is so good that the one role itself makes the voice actor famous, even when the talent is not popular.
Also, rather than relying on the popularity of famous voice actors, focusing on the fact that put this much effort into a good voiceover work can be more favorable to users. For example, the amount of Japanese scripts for Cyberpunk 2077 has received attention on SNS.
In the end, the best marketing practice is to stick to the essence of casting and trust the decisions of the casting director to create the best possible voice over performances, which ultimately leads to a great game.
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