Meet the Japanese startup aspiring to bring new voices to your games

Meet the Japanese startup aspiring to bring new voices to your games

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See original story in Japanese.

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The high penetration of smartphone and tablet devices has made it a lot easier to enjoy rich visual and audio content. But from the point of view of game developers, it can be incredibly tough to differentiate your works from others, as great artwork and illustrations alone might not be enough. Many of them are trying to improve the sound of their games as well, in order to improve their content offerings.

Tokyo-based startup, Grood, has recently introduced an online service for voice acting jobs called Voip. The startup won the top prize at Incubate Camp, a demo event held by local startup accelerator Incubate Fund last March. The startup is also known for its smartphone smash-hit app 全国告白白書 (or literally ‘All-Japan Love Confession Whitepaper’) which allows users to experience virtual love confessions to beautiful girls on the app.

Voip has partnered with voice actor agencies and schools nationwide, and has enlisted more than 450 actors and actresses. By taking advantage of the country’s largest such network of this kind, the startup provides a large base from which social games or MMORPG developers can source quality voice actors.

Prior to placing an order, a game developer can ask an actor or actress to read a script as a sort of audition. When the developer chooses their favored actor, that person will then be notified about the job details. The actors can choose the work that they really want, and the client can choose from the best among all audio pieces that actors have recorded and submitted.

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Although there appears to be more overall demand for quality voice-acting these days, notable voice actors and actresses frequently featured on TV or in well-known anime charge very high guarantee fees for their performance, and that is likely beyond the reach of most social game developers.

There are tens of thousands of voice actors in Japan, but only a fraction of them can make a living without doing other work on the side. The industry is very much seniority-based, and younger actors find it hard to survive even if they are popular.

So this service is a natural fit for voice actors in need of work and social game developers who are in need of quality performances. One job on the site has received 213 applications within 10 days of being published, which is a very impressive total.

Voip is currently working on some projects for Pokelabo, a well-known social game developer also backed by Incubate Fund.