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Monday, July 24, 2006

Filipino voice talents find their way into gaming

Filipino voice talents find their way into gaming

By Erwin Oliva
Last updated 09:33pm (Mla time) 07/21/2006

Former radio disc jockey turned professional voice talent Brian Ligsay never imagined becoming the voice of a virtual character in a PC game.

With luck, Luis Manalac, founder of a local game development company Ladyluck Digital Media Inc., spotted him hosting an event in Manila. He was then invited to become one of the voices in a PC game now known as Terra Wars: NY Invasion.

"It was the first time that I did a voice of a three-dimensional computer game," said Ligsay who is also marketing director and chief operating officer of Creative Voices.

Ligsay has been a professional voice talent since 1997. He also produces, writes scripts, and recruits other voice talents for television, radio, advertising, audio books, animation, and recently, gaming.

Established in November 2005, Creative Voices has over 200 voice talents here and abroad. Still, Ligsay said the local voice talent industry is a "young" industry.

His recent job with LadyLuck Digital Media showed, however, that there is a potential market for local professional voice talents in gaming.

The "voice work" in Terra Wars: NY Invasion took at least five days to finish, Ligsay said. This included recording, editing and sound direction. The recording process took at least two to three hours to finish, he added.

Because of their experience in doing voice in animation, Creative Voices was hired to contribute more to make the game experience better, he said.

The company eventually directed two known television hosts Mike Enriquez and Vicky Morales, both from GMA Network Inc., to do voices for two major characters in the PC game.

"They had so much fun," Ligsay said, recalling his experience with Enriquez and Morales.

Creative Voices managing director and chief executive officer Pocholo Gonzales was also part of the Terra Wars: NY Invasion's pool of voice talents.

Voice talents in the Philppines can earn decent money if they diversify, Ligsay said.

For gaming, voice talents can earn between 10,000 to 20,000 pesos per character for an entire game, he said. This is relatively lower than what local voice talents earn from radio, television, commercials, and voice-over jobs.

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