Just having your likeness used in a game is enough to net you a paycheck. If you’re famous enough, though, it’s enough to make sure your face never ends up in games. The new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is a licensed Marvel title. While Star Lord is wearing his mask, it can even look like you’re playing scenes out of the film. There’s a desire to marry the two built into the game, but actors like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista have pricey faces. So what you end up with is what looks like an off-brand version of these characters. It’s a compromise to make a game with a potentially lucrative license without spending all the profits before production has even finished.
Of course, Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t the first, nor the last, time this will happen.
Famous faces gone missing
While I was starting to think through games featuring characters portrayed by recognized actors, though, I realized the ladies and gentlemen at Outside Xbox had already done the work for me. Secret agents like James Bond and Jason Bourne become appropriately forgettable in their face-swapped outings, while some games over the years have fared even worse.
Check out the list above to see just how bad it can get when a studio wants to make money off a celebrity without actually paying them.