During this year’s Game Awards hosted by Geoff Keighley, Nolan North managed to secure the performance of the year award for his portrayal of Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. When it was time to receive his award on stage, he managed to take a moment to not only thank his wife and kids along with Uncharted directors Amy Hennig and Neil Druckmann, but he also addresses the elephant in the room in the form of #PerformanceMatters and the SAG strike currently taking place.
There’s a video of Nolan’s acceptance speech up on The Game Awards YouTube channel that you can check out below.
For the hearing impaired, North states…
“I want to thank a group of people at Naughty Dog — it’s them as a whole.
“I’m hearing a lot of talk lately about how ‘performance matters’… and it does. The performance of every designer, every programmer, every artist, every hard working talented person at that office – not only Naughty Dog but all the developers I’ve worked with, but Naughty Dog in particular […] – that performance is so important.
“[The developers] are so talented, they are so hard working, and… their performance matters more than mine. That’s important to understand in this day and age with all the talk going back and forth. Because without their performance, my performance would not only not matter, it wouldn’t exist.”
As Nolan uttered these words while holding back choked tears through glassy eyes, Insomniac Games’ CEO Ted Price let the hint of a slight smile crack upon his face, nodding ever-so-slightly at Nolan’s words.
It was a speech that acknowledged the one topic that hasn’t been discussed during the SAG strike: that games don’t exist without game developers.
SAG has been picketing out front of the offices of places like Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games and Warner Bros., but so far publishers haven’t given in to their demands.
Nolan North has previously been awfully quiet about the strike, but now we know exactly where he stands. A lot of gamers have found the strike to be quite silly given that voice actors still have relatively little pull when it comes to helping market the game. Every so often there’s stuff like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Beyond: Two Souls where the actor’s likeness and performance is actually used as a selling point, but beyond that most actors are there to lend their talents to creations put together by artists, engineers and designers.
SAG has yet to say how long the strike will go on, but publishers don’t seem to mind waiting it out.