Voice Actor Troy Baker Uses Cameo To Connect With Fans During Coronavirus Pandemic
With gaming conventions and other industry events either postponed or canceled, the acclaimed voice actor is trying another way to reach out to fans.
One of the immediate consequences of the coronavirus outbreak, which has since evolved into a worldwide pandemic, was the cancellation or postponement of many upcoming gaming conventions and other industry events.
With that, a majority of fans lost the chance to meet the people behind the creation of their favorite games, voice actor Troy Baker being one of the many among them.
While it’s not the same as meeting in person, Baker did come up with a backup plan, partnering with video messenger Cameo to connect with fans during the pandemic.
“In light of current circumstances, a lot of the events that I was going to go to this spring this and summer have either postponed or canceled,” Baker said through a video posted on his Instagram. “And along with that went the opportunity for [fans] and I to meet.
“And maybe you or someone you know could really use that shout out or song…Joker laugh…or maybe just a word of encouragement. So I decided to partner with Cameo to help you and I connect and stay connected.”
At a cost of $49, fans can book a personalized message from Baker either for themselves or someone else, starting a conversation over just about anything with the acclaimed voice actor. He isn’t the first voice-acting talent to partner with the platform, but even so, it’s still another more direct line of communication to someone within the video game industry.
With 357 acting credits to his name, according to IMDB, there’s a pretty high likelihood that Baker’s voice is somewhere in your favorite game. Some of his most prominent roles include that of Booker DeWitt (BioShock Infinite), Kanji Tatsumi (Persona 4), Vincent Brooks (Catherine), Sam Drake (Uncharted 4), Higgs Monaghan (Death Stranding), and even both Batman and the Joker. He was also cast as Bruce Banner/the Hulk for Square Enix’s upcoming Avengers game, now due out in September.
But since its release in 2013, Baker’s most iconic role has been playing Joel in The Last of Us, with him returning to the character for the highly-anticipated Part II coming out on May 29.
The spread of the coronavirus affected the games industry almost immediately. It started with PlayStation pulling out of PAX East last minute back at the end of February, and things have snowballed ever since. The Game Developers Conference was postponed to the summer, and E3 was eventually canceled outright, while smaller scale conventions and events (esports matches, fighting game tournaments, fan meetups, etc.) have either been postponed or axed as well.
Many development studios and publishers have also instituted work-from-home policies out of concern for the health and safety of their employees. And while no game releases have been delayed because of the virus just yet, lockdowns and closures of non-essential business across the U.S. and the rest of the globe will affect upcoming launches (Square Enix already acknowledged that physical copies of Final Fantasy VII Remake are likely going to be hard to come by come April 10).
Baker also discussed the state of the games industry during the pandemic on the latest episode of “Play, Watch, Listen,” hosted by Alanah Pearce of Funhaus and joined by game director/writer Mike Bithell and composer Austin Wintory. You can check that out below.