Clearing up some worries from voice actors and gamers alike, Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has confirmed it won't use AI technology to replace voice actors in its video games.
For context, a recent report dove into new AI technology from Altered AI, a company that's working to give game developers the ability to "create compelling, professional voice performances” without the need to cast human voice actors. Apparently, this new tech allows devs to simply submit a recording of what they want said along with the proper inflection, and the technology produces a performance for in-game use.
Ninja Theory was listed in the report as one of the developers that's utilizing this technology from Altered AI, which caused worry that authentic, human performances wouldn't be present in the studio's games, like the upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade II.
However, the developer has confirmed that's not the case, explaining how it actually uses AI technology on Twitter.
"For clarity, we use this AI tech for placeholder content only to help us understand things like timing and placement in early phases of development," the developer wrote. "We then collaborate with real actors whose performances are at the heart of bringing our stories to life."
No. For clarity, we use this AI tech for placeholder content only to help us understand things like timing and placement in early phases of development. We then collaborate with real actors whose performances are at the heart of bringing our stories to life. https://t.co/Nz9F1NXOGD
— Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory) September 23, 2022
Automated voice acting is becoming more common in the entertainment industry. Over on the television side, The Mandalorian showrunners chose to synthesize Luke Skywalker's voice using old clips of Mark Hamill, instead of casting a new actor for the role.
However, it's unclear how much of an impact this AI technology will have on the video game voice actor industry. According to the report, some actors are worried that studios adopting Altered AI will put actors out of work and lower the quality of the vocal performances. But supporters of the tech argue it could lead to more work for actors. As an example, one studio reportedly planned to have no voice acting in its game whatsoever, until they opted to use AI.
Regardless of Altered AI's future impact, we know Hellblade 2 will have human voice actors behind its performances when it comes to Xbox Series X|S. We still don't have a release date, but in the meantime, you can check out 6 minutes of Hellblade 2 gameplay from last year's Game Awards.
Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of experience in the gaming industry with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine, and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.