LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite a recognizably raspy voice that’s been featured in everything from “The Lego Movie” to GMC truck commercials, self-professed video gamer Will Arnett hasn’t been identified while chatting with other players online, nor has he taken the opportunity to put trash-talkers in their place.
“I’ve never been recognized,” the “Arrested Development” actor said. “My favorite is when dudes are super rude and they’re like, ‘You suck. You’re probably in your parents’ basement with your crappy job.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, you’re right.'”
Arnett is producing the new streaming series “Game Chat,” which features him playing games like “Evolve” and “FIFA” alongside comedian hosts Peter Giles and Dennis Gubbins in several installments. The show debuts Wednesday, and subsequent episodes will launch every other week on Xbox Live and YouTube.
In a recent interview, Arnett talked about playing games with famous friends and why he likes working on streaming series.
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AP: How did you come up “Game Chat”?
Arnett: I’m a gamer at heart. I spent a lot of time over the last 10 years gaming and playing a lot of multiplayer online on Xbox Live with my friends. In that process, I discovered a lot of what we talked about was ridiculous, absurd and funny. It occurred to us that it would be good to open it up to the world a little bit.
AP: The act of spectating video games online has skyrocketed with YouTube and Twitch. Why do you think people should watch you and your friends play games?
Arnett: I don’t think people should watch to see expert gamers. There are so many different things you can watch online. You can see people leveling up, doing walkthroughs, looking for glitches, whatever. For us, it’s more about playing for fun, like anybody else. When we get together on Xbox Live, it’s about making each other laugh.
AP: What games are you into at the moment?
Arnett: We play a lot of ‘Call of Duty.’ I play all sorts of different games when I’m not playing multiplayer. I play a lot of ‘Lego Marvel Super Heroes’ with my kids or ‘Zoo Tycoon.’ If I’m just playing by myself, I might play driving games like ‘Forza Motorsport.’
AP: Is it true you’re part of a celebrity gaming clique that includes the likes of Jerry O’Connell, Jason Sudeikis and Justin Theroux? Who is your biggest competition?
Arnett: I don’t know if I’d say that I’m part of it as much as I started it. Yeah, all those guys do play with us from time to time, some more than others. I’d say probably Sudeikis, although Theroux would probably be bummed to read that, so good, I’ll say Sudeikis because I want Theroux to be bummed.
AP: If you could voice any video game character, who would it be?
Arnett: I’ve been lucky enough to play Batman in ‘The Lego Movie’ and moving forward in ‘The Lego Batman Movie.’ I got to be part of the game that came out around the movie. I’d like to take that a step further and play Batman not just in ‘Lego Batman’ but in the next incarnation of the Batman games. That’d be rad.
AP: Besides “Game Chat,” you’ve been a Hulu pitchman, and you star in the Netflix shows “BoJack Horseman” and your upcoming comedy “Flaked.” What’s so appealing to you about streaming content?
Arnett: It’s such a dedicated audience. People go there for a purpose. It’s real fans. If you’re watching a program streaming, you’re not just passively watching. I like that. It’s a commitment to the thing you like. The people who consume entertainment that way know what they want. It feels like you can connect with your audience a bit better.
AP: “Game Chat” is on Xbox Live. It seems like you’ve drawn a line in the sand, so why do you prefer Xbox over PlayStation?
Arnett: I’m too smart to enter that discussion! As a gamer, I guess I made that switch years ago, that I do most of my gaming on Xbox. It’s not necessarily a political decision. That’s just the platform we liked.
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang.