- The Finals is a brand-new multiplayer shooter that’s expected to release later in 2023.
- Speaking in a podcast, a dev has confirmed that The Finals’ voiceovers are all AI.
- The community hasn’t taken the news well, criticizing the devs for not using authentic work.
The Finals, otherwise a fantastic-looking multiplayer shooter and a new proponent of the free-to-play department, has been subject to criticism as of late. Player voices in the game have been putting people off in terms of sounding a little AI-driven, and as per this suspicion, a designer working on the shooter has confirmed that AI has been employed for the game’s voiceovers, apart from a few exceptions.
Andreas Almström works as a designer for Embark Studios — the game’s developer — and has recently sat down in a podcast on Spotify held by the devs themselves, called Meet the Makers. Around the 6:32 mark of the episode, Andreas gets asked, sarcastically, “Who did the voiceovers? They sound really authentic.” The reply comes as follows,
So, here’s the kicker: What did the voiceovers? So, the thing is we used AI with a few exceptions, so all the contestant voices, and both our commentators are AI text-to-speech. For things we call vocalizations, like player breathing, vaulting, jumping, that’s something we asked the studio to report, like, just grunting. We can’t really get AI to perform those tasks, yet.”
It bears mentioning that AI, up until now, has had half-baked applications in the gaming industry, and people haven’t particularly liked the fact that their jobs are getting won over by a robot. That said, as AI matures and benefits from further enhancement, it’s started to become an attractive tool for video game devs looking to cut costs and get the job done as well. Andreas further elaborates,
And the reason that we go this route is that AI text-to-speech is finally extremely powerful. It gets us far enough in terms of quality and allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas, keeping things really really fresh.”
The Embark Studios designer further defends the utilization of AI for The Finals and says that even if the voiceovers don’t sound as genuine in the game, they blend in nicely with the overall game-show aesthetic of the free-to-play shooter. It’s further explained that where conventional voiceover methods take months on top of potential editing and replacement, AI takes mere hours.
The podcast was first spotted by Gianni Matragrano, a voice actor himself as per his X bio. Gianni opposes the idea and says that it’s actually an easy affair trying to get a professional voiceover artist to get work done for you timely. “You can literally get pro-grade VO for less than a grand total, bang out a couple recording sessions and bam you have all the audio you need.”
"far enough in terms of quality"
"hours instead of months" – We are constantly banging out rush order sessions for like, within a day or two. You can literally get pro-grade VO for less than a grand total, bang out a couple recording sessions and bam you have all the audio you… pic.twitter.com/85JQmjHZtw
— Gianni Matragrano (@GetGianni) October 28, 2023
The Finals clocked over 235,000 concurrent players on the third day of its open beta, and as per SteamDB, that figure is north of 260,000 now. The free-to-player, arena-based shooter was unveiled back in September last year, with the devs announcing its closed beta at the time. The game does not have a concrete release date as of now but is expected to come out later in 2023.
The open beta for The Finals went live on October 26, 2023, for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC via Steam. You have until November 5 to get the most out of it, before the wait game begins until the title’s launch.
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