Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has addressed some concerns from voice actors and gamers alike, confirming that it will not be using AI technology to replace voice actors in its video games.
For context, a recent report dived into new AI technology from Altered AI, a company working to enable game developers to “create compelling, professional voice performances” without having to cast human voice actors. Apparently, this new technology allows developers to simply submit a recording of what they want said, along with the correct intonation, and the technology generates an achievement for in-game use.
Ninja Theory was listed in the report as one of the developers using Altered AI’s technology, leading to fears that authentic human performances would not 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 and explained how it actually uses the AI technology Twitter.
“For clarity, we’re only using this AI technology for placeholder content to help us understand things like timing and placement in early stages of development,” the developer wrote. “We then work with real actors whose performances take center stage to bring our stories to life.”
no For clarity, we only use this AI technology for placeholder content to understand things like timing and placement in early stages of development. We then work with real actors whose performances take center stage to bring our stories to life. https://t.co/Nz9F1NXOGD
— Ninja Theory (@NinjaTheory) September 23, 2022
Automated speech output is becoming increasingly common in the entertainment industry. On the television side, The Mandalorian showrunners opted to synthesize Luke Skywalker’s voice using old clips of Mark Hamill rather than casting a new actor for the role.
However, it’s unclear how much impact this AI technology will have on the video game voice actor industry. According to the report, some actors fear studios adopting Altered AI will put actors out of work and reduce the quality of vocal performances. But proponents of the technology argue it could mean more work for the actors. For example, one studio reportedly planned not to have any voice acting in its game until it decided to use AI.
Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga Gameplay Trailer Gallery
Regardless of the future impact of Altered AI, we know that 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 gaming industry experience with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.