As reported by Bloomberg, CD Projekt used the technology to add new voice lines for Miłogost Reczek, a popular Polish voice actor.
Reczek performed the Polish-language voice for the character Viktor Vektor in Cyberpunk 2077, but then passed away in 2021.
As such, CD Projekt was left trying to figure out how to use the character in the game’s Phantom Liberty expansion.
One option was to get a new voice actor to perform the role of Viktor in the expansion, and to get that actor to re-record Reczek’s lines for the base game to ensure the character sounded the same across the entire experience.
However, as explained in a statement to Bloomberg by CD Projekt localisation director Mikołaj Szwed, the company “didn’t like this approach” because Reczek “was one of the best Polish voice talents” and his performance was considered “stellar”.
Instead, the company got a new voice actor to perform new lines then used voice cloning software called Respeecher to change the voice and make it sound like Reczek was performing the lines.
CD Projekt says it got permission from Reczek’s family before going ahead with the plan, and Szwed added that the actor’s sons “were very supportive”.
The use of AI in the entertainment world is currently a major point of contention. Some members of the acting community are concerned that it will be used in an adverse way, with studios attempting to cut costs by using it to replace actors, or to tweak their images or performances without fairly compensating them.
Last month members of SAG-AFTRA, the labour union for American actors, voted overwhelmingly in favour of potential video game strike action.
So far negotiations have failed due to what SAG-AFTRA calls unacceptable terms on “some of the issues most critical to our members, including wages that keep up with inflation, protections around exploitative uses of artificial intelligence, and basic safety precautions”.