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Interview with Lani Minella

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  • Interview with Lani Minella

    A popular adventure game website just published an interview with Lani Minella today. Some important quotes from it I think are these:

    "Nancy Drew has been my longest returning role which is now wrapping up to make way for someone new, who is local to Her Interactive in Seattle."

    "There are many, many Nancy Drew fans who are very disappointed and upset by the decision of Her Interactive to switch to a new voice actress as of Nancy Drew game #33. It’s hard to understand why Her Interactive would voluntarily remove you as the voice of Nancy Drew, when you have demonstrated time and again that you are one of the series’ greatest assets. Would you be able to shed a little more light on this decision?

    Yes it’s a bit strange to me too. I was told that the CEO did some research and found the Nancy Drew name was well known, but the games’ popularity had dwindled. So they thought bringing in a new actor who was local to them in Seattle, as well as possibly making other eventual changes to the game might help increase sales. I wish them all the best."


    This seems to indicate to me that the new voice has already been cast. And for a pretty stupid reason...

  • #2
    Wow. That was a very interesting interview. So, it sounds like it was the new CEO's choice to change the voice actors. Well, I'll be curious to hear who the new voice actor is, and what other changes they'll make to the games.

    Comment


    • #3
      I wonder if it ever occurred to the CEO that the decline in game popularity could be due to a general decline in game quality?

      There was a time when Nancy Drew games were consistently good. I loved them all. Then the quality started to fluctuate and HeR stopped releasing demos. Some games from this period are good but others are real clunkers, particularly when compared to the older games. I kept buying them anyway.

      MED is by far the worst of the clunkers, IMO. I could scarcely believe it was a Nancy Drew game. I even played it several times hoping I'd missed something that would give the game some merit. No such luck.

      I wanted to like MED but I just couldn't. The game is so bad that it put me off buying LIE, which I still haven't bought.

      And now that Lani is leaving I'll probably never play LIE, Sea of Darkness or any other Nancy Drew game that's released. Lani isn't even gone yet, and I've already started missing her.

      From what I've seen, Lani seems like a gracious and extremely talented lady. More power to her.

      If HeR thinks replacing Lani will increase game popularity, they may be in for a rude awakening. IMO, improving game quality would be a much better idea.

      Comment


      • #4
        If they got rid of lani to get someone in seattle it sounds like a cost-cutting measure

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
          If they got rid of lani to get someone in seattle it sounds like a cost-cutting measure
          Good point. Maybe that's another way to look at it - they're trying to save some money to implement these changes.

          Hopefully the changes are good, rather than bad. A positive approach would be that they're saving money so they can make the games longer, the plot stronger, etc.
          .

          I took you by the hand and we stood tall
          And remembered our own land, what we lived for...


          ..........¸×´¨¯¨`+¸There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
          ..........`·-·*......) And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears
          ................¸.×´Get over your hill and see what you find there
          ..............(..............¸×´¨¯¨`+.¸
          ...............`×.,¸_¸,.×´.©......*·-·' With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
            If they got rid of lani to get someone in seattle it sounds like a cost-cutting measure
            Hypers! I knew they're a small outfit but had no idea they were bringing Lani in via horse and buggy. I thought that was just for shipping the games.

            Originally posted by magovani View Post
            I wanted to like MED but I just couldn't. The game is so bad that it put me off buying LIE, which I still haven't bought.
            Fear not, LIE was great. MED was in a class by itself, beyond "worst ND game ever."

            ***merged***

            Originally posted by magovani View Post
            I wonder if it ever occurred to the CEO that the decline in game popularity could be due to a general decline in game quality?
            It is a certainty. That's so basic, it's taught in pre-k business school. The new CEO comes with credentials, too, they didn't just pick her blindly from the Seattle phone book.
            And yet...as I mentioned somewhere earlier on these boards, Coca-Cola committed this elementary blunder when they decided to tweak the winning formula and offer it as "New Coke." The world erupted and they had to reissue the original, and somehow live down the shame.
            That said, I do have one theory as to what's going on here, but as a general rule I think speculation is imprudent so maybe I'll run it by yall in Game Suggestions later. It's related to that new direction syndrome
            Last edited by hedgie; January 24th, 2015, 06:47 AM. Reason: Mod's Note: Please do not double post, a form of spam.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Poppy Drew View Post
              Good point. Maybe that's another way to look at it - they're trying to save some money to implement these changes.

              Hopefully the changes are good, rather than bad. A positive approach would be that they're saving money so they can make the games longer, the plot stronger, etc.
              Lani has already stated elsewhere on this forum that the decision to replace her has nothing to do with money:

              I just want you to know I am still acting, directing etc. and nothing is preventing me from work. It was an exec decision to try something new with a different Nancy Voice and making game improvements as well. Thanks so much for all your support. It means the world to me and I will miss you all a lot. And no it had nothing to do with money either.
              I can understand everyone here floundering about, trying to explain the inexplicable and trying to make sense of what makes no sense at all. Speaking for myself, I'm not going to waste any energy doing that, because it will lead to nothing. Why they would voluntarily choose to get rid of the heart and soul of the Nancy Drew game series seriously leads me to question the sanity of the person or persons who not only decided to do this but thought it was a good idea. My mind boggles.
              Last edited by Tedbear2; January 24th, 2015, 06:57 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by paperstreet View Post
                If they got rid of lani to get someone in seattle it sounds like a cost-cutting measure
                That's what I think as well. It's the only thing that makes sense to me. I can't see how using a local voice vs a well-known voice actor would help increase interest in the games. Plus they're just alienating the loyal fanbase with this change. I haven't seen one person post on this board that they wanted a change in voice actors for Nancy. I still feel absolutely floored by this decision.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Tedbear - maybe she meant that they weren't letting her go as a result of her asking for more money per game?

                  Who knows. I can't think of any other reason to go with someone from Seattle unless they already had a specific person in mind for the part and she just happened to live in Seattle.

                  You're right, though - all this speculating isn't getting us anywhere and it's just upsetting. It's simple: we'll either like the new direction or we won't. And if we don't and we leave, the company will have to deal from there.
                  .

                  I took you by the hand and we stood tall
                  And remembered our own land, what we lived for...


                  ..........¸×´¨¯¨`+¸There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears
                  ..........`·-·*......) And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears
                  ................¸.×´Get over your hill and see what you find there
                  ..............(..............¸×´¨¯¨`+.¸
                  ...............`×.,¸_¸,.×´.©......*·-·' With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    tedbear -- I agree with poppy drew. I think Lani was saying she wasnt in a contract dispute, where she was demanding a raise. It costs to fly someone in from out of town, pay their hotel and dining expenses, plus a per diem. They could save a lot by having someone local. Also if HeR wants to start doing more games or more apps or even more things like recording small youtube promos, etc, it would logistically be easier and cheaper to have someone nearby.

                    I think one of problems with the games is that there is nothing all year, and then two games at once, so it is easy to forget they even exist. They probably need to make an effort to remain in communication with their audience even when the games are not out, and that would be easier with someone in town voicing nancy.

                    However, that said, if I am totally honest, one of the only reasons I have stuck playing the game is because of lani as nancy. Can you imagine how dreary MED or a game like TMB would have been without her? The only thing that makes the games Nancy Drew games instead of just some random game with a girl character has been her voice, HeR really needs to go a make the brand vision and characters strong and focussed again.
                    Last edited by paperstreet; January 24th, 2015, 08:49 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      To the best of my knowledge, Lani doesn't go to Seattle to do the voicework for the games; she does it right from her home base ***removed*** and has been doing so ever since the series first started. Her isn't incurring any travel costs with Lani. In the interview, she also mentions that Skype is/can be used as well if someone wants to give her voice direction.
                      Last edited by hedgie; January 24th, 2015, 09:27 AM. Reason: Mod's Note: PI removed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Tedbear2 View Post
                        To the best of my knowledge, Lani doesn't go to Seattle to do the voicework for the games; she does it right from her home base ***removed*** and has been doing so ever since the series first started. Her isn't incurring any travel costs with Lani. In the interview, she also mentions that Skype is/can be used as well if someone wants to give her voice direction.
                        Yes, I believe this is true^^^

                        As I thought, it all leads back to this... CEO. Ugh. Why can't that Stuart person (I forget his last name ) come back? Why did this CEO step in anyways? Like someone else said, it's mind boggling for them to think that hiring someone local will somehow increase sales all of a sudden. It makes me feel like something else bad is coming down the line... But I mean, look at all this hate! They are losing a huge portion of their fan base with this decision. Even if they somehow attract new players, it would be years, if ever, that they regained as many as they have now. I mean, the games always sell out during the preorder period! Honestly, this is ridiculous, from a business, as well as a logical standpoint.
                        Last edited by hedgie; January 25th, 2015, 05:59 AM.
                        To the message boards: When I think of this place, I think of the many wonderful memories and friends that I made here as a young teen (some of which I have to this day!). I would just like to say thank you to everyone who made this place special and added so much joy to my life. From alternate endings, to entertaining message board games, to picking through the details of every game, to being so excited when a new game was released, to speculating if MID would ever come out, and of course to the time where so many of us sleuthed every inch of CRE to find that darn (fake) easter egg , I have had so much fun here and made so many memories. The boards may be all but dead but I will forever cherish this place, even if I never return to it. Thank you to you all

                        My threads:

                        R4JC!!
                        Olivia Trey Penelope

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't know how many times it needs to be said: if the voice acting is up to scratch, the voice cast normally does not influence a game's sales. If someone other than Gabriel Wolf had voiced Dylan Carter, it would not have influenced my decision to purchase TMB. Now, if replacing Lani is a cost-cutting measure and Penny Milliken plans to use the saved money to increase advertising, that is a different story (still not one I like). I also think "the name Nancy Drew is well known" is a slightly misleading way of putting things. The brand itself is well known, but many people aren't familiar with the very existence of the PC series.
                          SCK STFD MHM TRT FIN
                          SSH DOG CAR DDI SHA
                          CUR CLK TRN DAN CRE
                          ICE CRY VEN HAU RAN
                          WAV TOT SAW CAP ASH
                          TMB DEDGTH SPY MED

                          SCK2 LCC RED iSHA


                          ...How? I Dare to Play

                          Do you have concerns about MID? Ask HeR for a demo

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thats because Dylan was a one off character, lani created a character, the lead character of the game. She is the voice, the star of the series. It's like when they change a lead character in a tv show, it normally lasts a year or two more and then is cancelled.

                            For me, the games have been pretty mediocre for a very long time, and to be honest, not even that fun to play (and sometimes downright tedious), but Lani helps raise a mediocre experience into something special.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmmmm.......

                              Some people learn about ND from the games before they read any ND books. These days, the older books which establish the ND character and the ND world are hard to find and often expensive. The newer books feature a Nancy Drew which is still Nancy Drew, but is different from the original Nancy Drew.

                              Some differences are due to changing times. Girls these days usually do not drive roadsters, as ND did in the blue hardcovers. Today, most girls would not interact with the niece of their housekeeper as ND did wiht Effie in a blue hardcover book; they probably would be a little more polite than Nancy was and they might be even funnier than Nancy and Effie were.

                              The earliest readers of the earliest ND books would have driven cars such as those seen in CLK and worn clothes such as those seen in the earliest ND book covers & illustrations. Readers years later might have seen ND as she appeared in the yellow hardcovers. (Think about the mid-century dresses and the line-drawn figures.) These illustrations looked more like mid-century girls than the Russell Tandy pics of Nancy et al in the earliest, blue hardcovers. The Digests, Case Files, On Campus, and River Heights covers showed us Nancy and her friends in their 1980's-1990's looks. There was big hair. There were those big business suits. There were mom jeans. Yes, ladies and gents, there are pics of ND and her little friends wearing mom jeans.

                              Each generation of ND readers would see Nancy as someone who was somewhat like people in their real world because Nancy wore her hair, makeup and clothes like girls of the current target reading audience might wear their hair, makeup and clothes.

                              Now we go from books to multi-media.

                              Have you seen Bonita Granville, Pamela Sue Martin, Maggie Lawton and Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew?
                              If so, I do not have to tell you that each actress' ND look related to her time in history. When ND began to appear virtually in games, she was a voice and an icon. Later, glimpses of her were given. In SPY, Kate Drew was shown and we are told that she is a thirty-something version of Nancy Drew.

                              Which of these Nancy Drews is the "real" Nancy Drew? Does this depend upon how old we were when we first encountered Nancy Drew, regardless of which era of Nancy were were watching, seeing or playing in a game?

                              Is each generation of potential ND reader/gamer needing or expecting their own version of Nancy Drew?

                              If so, does this explain to any extent why there will be another voice for virtual Nancy Drew after game 32?

                              As usually, I do not know.

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