New York Times has an interesting piece this morning about how actor Michael Hollick earned about $100,000 for playing GTA IV protagonist Niko Bellic. Had the actor done the role for almost any other medium than video games, he would have received very generous residuals and royalties off the title, which made $500 million in its first week. The piece basically explores how all the actors in GTA IV would be rolling in dough had the work not been in video games.
Of course, if the actor gets residuals, does the artist who "made" Niko get a cut? Although the actors provided voices, and apparently motion-capture, what about all the other people that worked on the creation of these characters? People aren't buying these games because of the actors, they're getting it because of the title and its associated gameplay. In time, this issue will probably come to a head (especially as the industry grows), but for now it comes off like actors whining while everyone else is getting a similarly bum deal. Maybe it's time the video game writers, artists and developers started complaining too? Union, union, union!