The Finals is a first-person shooter a lot of fans were looking forward to, but those feelings changed when AI voices were revealed. Understandably, the decision to go with AI voices has angered a lot of people, including voice actors, since hiring people to work on your game is not that time-consuming.
Embark Studios, the developers of this FPS, released a podcast episode on Spotify where it was confirmed that AI voices are used in the game. Audio designers Carl Strandberg and Andreas Almström said that AI voices are used, except for “a few exceptions,” which is why fans are angry.
"The reason that we went 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 … if a game designer comes up with a new idea for a game mode, we can have a voiceover representing that in just a matter of hours, instead of months,” said the audio designers.
In an attempt to defend the move, Strandberg and Almström said that using AI for The Finals was helpful since it meant they could have more takes within hours, rather than months. Naturally, a lot of voice actors called out this “defense.” Gianni Matragrano, the voice of Gabriel in Overkill, said that rush sessions within a day or two are more than possible.
"We are constantly banging out rush order sessions for like, within a day or two... When you need more, you can book another session,” Matragano said on Twitter. “We actually make it very easy."
No matter how the devs at Embark spin it, using AI voices instead of actual voice actors for The Finals is a pretty baffling move. Admittedly, Embark isn’t the biggest studio out there, but that’s no excuse when there are many indie games going through the process of hiring actual actors. Hopefully, things change in the future.
The Finals currently has an open beta that’s available to most players, though Steam Deck users are missing out.