Hellblade Creator Denies Using AI Voice Actors In Upcoming Games

Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has allayed some concerns from voice actors and gamers alike and has confirmed that it will not use AI technology to replace voice actors in its video games.

For context, a recent report delved into new AI technology from Altered AI, a company working to give game developers the ability to “create immersive, professional voice performances” without the need to cast human voice actors. Apparently, this new technology allows developers to simply submit a recording of what they want to say, along with the appropriate inflection, and the technology produces a performance for use in the game.

Ninja Theory was listed in the report as one of the developers using this technology from Altered AI, sparking 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 this is not the case and explains how it actually uses AI technology Twitter.

“To be clear, we only use this AI technology for temporary content to help us understand things like timing and placement in early stages of development,” the developer wrote. “We then partner with real actors whose performances are at the heart of bringing our stories to life.”

Automated voice acting is becoming more and more common in the entertainment industry. On the television side, The Mandalorian’s showrunners chose to synthesize Luke Skywalker’s voice using old Mark Hamill clips, rather than casting a new actor for the role.

However, it is unclear how much impact this AI technology will have on the video game voice acting industry. According to the report, some actors are concerned that studios using Altered AI will render actors unemployed and reduce the quality of vocal performances. But supporters of the technology claim it could lead to more work for actors. For example, there was a studio that reportedly planned to have no voice acting in its game at all until they chose to use AI.

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 for 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.

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