The debut trailer for the Life is Strange prequel Before the Storm was shown during Microsoft's pre-E3 press event, and if it seemed to you that Chloe's voice in it was a little bit "off" from what you remember, you're not wrong. Voice actor Ashly Burch, whose most recent appearances include Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Battleborn, and the lead role in Horizon: Zero Dawn, confirmed on Twitter yesterday that, because of the SAG-AFTRA strike, she wasn't able to perform the role for the new game.
Hey y'all, to the fans asking - I wasn't able to reprise my role as Chloe in Life is Strange: Before the Storm due to the SAG-AFTRA strikeJune 12, 2017
The voice actors strike has been ongoing since last year, and while some projects were "safe harbored," meaning that development with union talent was allowed during the strike because the contracts were signed prior to its start, newer ones, like Before the Storm, were not. Because of that, game makers have two choices: They can hire non-union talent, or they can strike a stand-alone deal for their project—if, presumably, they are not one the "Interactive Video Games Companies" that are negotiating collectively with SAG-AFTRA: Activision, Blindlight, Disney, Electronic Arts, Inc., Formosa Interactive, Insomniac Games, Take 2, VoiceWorks Productions, and, WB Games.
Life is Strange publisher Square Enix is not one of their number, opening the door to a one-off deal to bring Burch back for the new game without violating any sort of covenant with its industry partners. But in this case, non-union talent won out, which attracted the ire of actor and high-profile professional nerd Felicia Day.
Wait, so they hired non union actors instead of rehiring you? Am I hearing that right?! Whelp, won't be buying that game. Sad. :/ https://t.co/VUeOwRu38iJune 13, 2017
Noted voice actor Steven Blum also expressed disappointment in the situation.
There is a promulgated agreement available today. All they need to do is sign it. This doesn't have to happen.June 13, 2017
The first part of the three-part Life is Strange: Before the Storm is set to come out on August 31.