Starfield is shaping up to be one of the biggest video game launches in years, with over six million people already digging into it. But as one of the few exclusive games on the calendar in the cooling war between console platforms (long ended, if you ask us), it's not surprising that Starfield has sparked plenty of Xbox vs PlayStation discourse.
Caught in that comment crossfire was Elias Toufexis, voice of Starfield's Sam Coe and the Deus Ex series' Adam Jensen. Toufexis took to Twitter last week to vent about all the weird guys who were bugging him, and I was curious about how voice actors experience internet discourse like this. I reached out to Toufexis to talk about working on Starfield, as well as the behaviors a release like this seems to draw out of some gamers.
"Why did this guy tweet at me '30 fps?'" Toufexis wondered about a Twitter Guy determined to mock Starfield's console framerate cap on Xbox Series consoles, seemingly out of devotion to the competing PlayStation 5, and directed toward someone with no say over the game's console performance. Revealing his role in Starfield was a proud, long-awaited moment for Toufexis, but also one slightly soured by that certain type of digital Orc you always seem to run into in gaming circles online.
"I go to his page and he tweeted '30 fps' on anything that says Starfield, '30fps' on everything. I'm like, this must have taken you an hour!"
A short search turned up the 30 fps bandit's record of madness, and it kind of felt like the "all work and no play" bit from The Shining. Toufexis cited similar commentary online as getting him down, and in the days since we talked Toufexis has butted heads with homophobic players who take issue with his character, Sam Coe, being bisexual.
All the same, this sort of behavior is pretty standard, almost expected in online pop culture discussions, with conventional wisdom being to keep your head high and not let it get to you. Toufexis admits that he thinks "the right answer is to just ignore it," even though the 30 fps guy drew a response from him.
Starfield seems to have been a particularly meaningful project for Toufexis, who began his involvement in 2019 as both an actor and voice director. In addition to playing Sam Coe, Toufexis directed Aly Ward Azevedo in portions of her performance as the character's daughter, Cora. Seeing casual dismissals online of the years of work that went into Starfield proved particularly irksome to Toufexis:
"For me, that's the most insulting thing. You don't know how hard these guys worked on this. You don't know that these guys want this to be great. We didn't make Starfield or any project to be bad.
"We're trying to make good work and if you don't like it, that's fine. But don't attack the people who make the game or make the show, personally."
For all the frustration, though, Toufexis mostly just seemed baffled and slightly saddened by more toxic conversations emerging around Starfield, questioning why someone would "attach their personality to a gaming console."
"I'm sorry you're like this, I wish you weren't," said Toufexis. "I would love it if you came back and said, 'You know what, that game is actually really fun.' These are small potatoes in a much more complex, more important world. It just ticks me off because I felt like it insulted my friends who worked so hard on the game."