Video games have become a viable creative outlet for high-profile talent.
As the gaming audience has grown, Bethesda's Todd Howard, a developer on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, says that it's become far easier to lure high-profile actors to video game voice roles.
“Video gaming overall have reached this level of mass consciousness,” said Howard. “There is a cool factor now to doing a video game. It’s not about the money, it’s about, ‘it’s really cool and my agent tells me it’s going to be good for me now instead of bad for me.’”
"You had an actor say, 'This is great! I want to do it.' The agent said, 'You don't want to be in a video game.' Now the agent goes, 'You should do it. Now everyone plays them. They love them. This is really cool. Let's do it.'
"I notice a lot more people doing it and they come to us.
Howard said that more recognizable voice actors would be appearing in Skyrim - Max von Sydow has already been brought on as the narrator - although he didn’t say who else would joining the cast.
“We’re fortunate in the games we make and how they’re thought of in the industry that actors want to do them a little bit more, honestly,” continued Howard.
Off the top of my head, video games have benefited from the talents of actors like Liam Neeson (Fallout 3), Kiefer Sutherland (Call of Duty), Daniel Craig (Goldeneye), Martin Sheen (Mass Effect 2), Patrick Stewart (The Elder Scrolls), Nathan Fillion (Halo 3: ODST), Samuel L. Jackson (GTA: San Andreas), Bill Murray (Ghostbusters), and Neil Patrick Harris (Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions), and that's definitely not a bad list. As games become more and more popular, I’m sure that there are plenty more good performances to come.