Hot off the heels of the lawsuit between Sony and Jerry Lambert, whom gamers know as Kevin Butler, Sony has decided that they can’t stop there. Sony has thrown down the judicial gauntlet and announced that they are suing Nolan North. Nolan North is a famous voice actor who popularized Nathan Drake in the Uncharted games, and such success has jettisoned him into almost every game’s list of actors since. Sadly, this seems to have now bitten him in his nicely paid ass. A New York musical scholar named Christopher Wallace once stated “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” and this rings true to Mr. North.
“North’s similarities from one game to another are almost downright asking us to pursue legal action,” says Sony CEO Spaz Hiraz. “I watched a few videos on YouTube of a games like Assassin’s Creed, Spec Ops: The Line, and Prince of Persia and was offended on how Drake-like they were,” he continued, “I had to stop and think of whether we actually sold off Mr. North to Ubisoft and Take Two. Looking at our bank accounts, I knew we hadn’t.”
When pressed on if they actually own Nolan North’s voice and personality, Hiraz’s responses were cagey. “Well, we’re the ones who put him on after the original Uncharted. Had you ever heard of him before 2007? Probably not. You probably played Call of Duty 2 and he, despite you not recognizing him, was in that. After 2007, you heard him and immediately associated him with Sony. You can thank us for that. And so can he.”
Similarly with the Jerry Lambert case, one of Sony’s goals is to avoid brand confusion.
“When I witnessed Dark Void, even I was confused,” continues Hiraz, “I had thought this was a super-quick release of Uncharted 3 but instead turned out being a desperate, poorly constructed wannabe with Nicola Tesla, who I just found out recently was dead. Sony would be permanently damaged if this sort of brand confusion continues. Gaming could actually implode.”
Understandably, Nolan North isn’t too thrilled about this new lawsuit.
“I’m an actor,” says Nolan North, “I’m paid to put out a personality and use my voice to put character into digital people. Nathan Drake is a clever collection of cool, witty remarks and being an American. Is Sony going to try to own that too? Wait, let’s not give them ideas.”
First Kevin Butler and now Nolan North? That is two too many, but it doesn’t sound like Sony is done.
“Although we can exempt his performance in Batman: Arkham City because he was smart enough to use some voice modulators for Penguin, we might not be done,” continues Hiraz, “Asura’s [from Asura’s Wrath] constant screaming could be directly linked to Kratos’ many bellows and Sonic could be mistaken for Crash Bandicoot. Oh wait, we don’t own Crash Bandicoot anymore. Well… close enough.”
We don’t even know what is safe anymore. Keeping your intellectual properties is a smart thing to do, but having actual personalities on lock isn’t something that seems ethical for a company. It looks like things are about to go Nolan South.