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My Time At Portia developer addresses voice actor payment allegations

My Time At Portia left Early Access this week, working its way up the Steam charts and netting some pretty positive reviews—keep an eye out for our take on the game soon—but shortly after launch, voice actors not associated with the game and Twitter users started criticising developer Pathea Games, alleging poor treatment of voice actors and issues with payments.

The allegations go back to October, when post appeared on Steam, from a third party, listing complaints that the OP claimed came from the voice actors themselves. The list includes originally asking the voice actors to work for free, missed payments, and poor communication.

Pathea responded in the thread in October, acknowledging that it paid voice actors $50-$100 and there had been some miscommunication, but the developer disputed that payments were ever missed. It also said that voice actors had agreed to be paid more retroactively, and that everyone had already been paid the amount originally agreed. 

The thread was closed soon after, following Pathea saying it would reach out to voice actors to clear up any confusion and address any concerns they had. In light of the recent accusations on Twitter, Pathea’s released another statement, clarifying the situation and admitting that there was actually an oversight and payments were missed.

A longer post was also published on Steam. 

“We are still an inexperienced and ambitious studio, and did not have a solid structure in place to maintain adequate links to our actors and maintenance thereof,” reads the post. “This caused several issues. It started from volunteer work, to paid work, then to contracted work. From 11 voice actors to 60+.”

It looks like the issues stem from actors submitting lines but not being credited or the lines not being implemented, leading to them not getting paid for their work. 

“Over this last weekend, we have been addressing this as best as we can. We sent out payments to all actors whether we had implemented their lines or not, but this still left some people not receiving pay, due to that 'credit'. After interacting with a few of those in question, it was made clear that this just wasn't fair. We removed that credit/deduction, and are currently in the process of getting out the payments as due.”

More voice acting is being added to the game even now, and Pathea says its main priority now is making sure voice actors got what they were expecting rather than what the developer had in mind. 

“We appreciate all the voice actors that have supported and helped better our system, and My Time at Portia,” the post concludes. “They have given us patience, advice, suggestions, tips, and encouragement, when they were obligated to do none of those, and we will continue to return that appreciation the best we can.”

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.