Richard Wells (The Voice Of PEGI 18)
Games Industry News

PEGI 18 VA Richard Wells Talks About AI & The Compensation For His Iconic Work

Story Round-Up

  • Richard Wells is the voice behind the iconic PEGI 18 rating and its variations.
  • While he was paid €200 for his work, Wells has a positive outlook on the situation in light of the friends he’s gained.
  • He’s expressed his views on AI, saying it’s good for hack jobs but still fails to capture that human touch.

I’m sure you remember that familiar “PEGI 12” or “PEGI 18” before countless video game trailers. Yeah, that’s the one and only Richard Wells. He’s a professional voice actor and has no doubt worked on many projects. Ironically, however, his voice is renowned for only two words. Well, a few more if you add the rating variations.


♬ original sound – Richard Wells

His recent reveal on TikTok attracted an astronomical amount of attention, with the initial video racking up a mind-blowing 17 million views (if you add in the repost). Suddenly, the unseen voice behind PEGI 18 had a face and lore associated with it. Turns out, he only got €200 as compensation for recording those iconic PEGI ratings back in 2009.

Hi, I’m Richard Wells, and I’ve been a professional voice actor for 40 years. I’ve made at least 10,000 recordings and spoken millions of words – but ironically I’m best known for just two. You won’t know my face, but millions of you gamers really do know my voice – because I’m the guy who says ‘PEGI 18’ on all your video games.”

This sparked conversations about fair pay for voice actors, especially with AI tech potentially creeping into their territory. While people have been discussing whether Richard was paid fair for voicing PEGI 18 and the other ratings, his outlook on the matter is rather wholesome.

The result is that I got over 2 million friends which is great.

But hey, Wells’ viral moment isn’t just about him. He’s been super cool, interacting with fans and answering their burning questions. From the PEGI 18 paycheque shocker to his thoughts on AI (he thinks it’s good for “hack jobs” but can’t replace human emotion), he’s spilling the proverbial tea. Wells even dug out the original PEGI recordings, bringing back a wave of nostalgia for gamers everywhere.

I have no intention of selling my voice to an AI package because if you want me, you’ll get me.”

This whole thing has become part of a bigger discussion about AI and its place in the creative world. While others are busy debating the ethics and other implications, Wells is just enjoying the ride. He wraps it up with a show of gratitude for the millions of likes and the following he’s gained overnight. You never know when something might come around and be a blessing for you.

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So, the next time you hear that familiar “PEGI 18” before a game trailer, remember, it’s Richard Wells.

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Founder, Editor-in-Chief
Founder of The Gaming Hounds. I've been a fan of gaming ever since my first console—The NES. I love a multitude of video game genres, with a higher affinity for RPGs. My goal is to create increased standards in the gaming journalism industry.

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