Earlier this year, it was revealed that voice actor Troy Baker would not be returning to reprise his role for Borderlands 3. After having voicing main protagonist Rhys in Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands, it seemed like a clear choice to have him back for the next main entry. Clearly not. At the time, developer Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford stated that Baker originally turned down the role.
You’ll have to ask Troy. I was told by the audio director that he turned it down. Fortunately, with how Rhys appears in the game, I don’t think it actually matters at all. You’ll see for yourself when the game comes out and you may disagree with me on that or not.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) April 10, 2019
Following on from this, Baker responded at a Q&A that he was never allowed to voice the character. The reasons why he never returned for Borderlands 3 were never made clear, until now.
During an interview with VG247, Baker addressed the issue, shedding more light to the situation into why he wasn’t cast for Borderlands 3.
“No, it was simply a matter of they wouldn’t go union, and I can’t do a non-union gig. And without getting too deep into the weeds of that, we had long conversations about this. We always knew going into it, that this was going to be the thing. They were going to take these characters, and put them from the Tales from the Borderlands series from Telltale, into Borderlands proper. I’ve been waiting for this call. They were like, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And I said, ‘Yes’. They never, because they would never move from that position. I’m not mad. It’s invariably a completely different character, but it still stings.”
This is one of many controversies that Gearbox has faced surrounding Borderlands 3. Since the announcement back in March, there have been several reported cases. Situations regarding YouTube copyright strikes and accusations of physical assault.
Baker is one of the leading faces of video game voice acting. Having starred in such roles as Joel from The Last of Us, and Booker DeWitt from Bioshock Infinite, it’s unfortunate he was never able to reprise his role for Borderlands 3.
Borderlands 3 is out now and available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Read our review here.