One of the strengths of the original Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was its evocative voice acting, so it’s understandable that fans were a bit concerned when Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II was recently mentioned in relation to Altered AI, a company that creates AI-generated voice performances.
According to an article from News.com.au, Altered AI’s tech allows clients to choose from one of several virtual “actors,” and alter their tone, emotion, ect. to create a custom-tailored artificial performance. Apparently, some games, such as The Ascent, have already used the tech. According to the article, Ninja Theory is one of the clients of Altered AI, although the specific details of the partnership is “under wraps.”
Well, it’s not quite so under wraps anymore. Responding to a concerned fan on Twitter, Ninja Theory had the following to say about the use of AI voices…
“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.”
Well, I could see how AI-generated voices could be a valuable tool early in the planning process, but it’s nice to know Senua's Saga: Hellblade II won’t be using any robo voice work. That said, let’s be real, this kind of thing is going to be more prevalent in games going forward. Big open-world games with tons of NPCs and background characters will be particularly enticed by the technology, I suspect.
Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II is in the works for PC and Xbox Series X/S. The game hasn’t yet locked down a release date. So, what are your thoughts on this subject? Would you be okay with the gaming industry embracing AI-generated performances or should they be sticking with flesh-and-blood actors?