The Finals players slam use of “awful” AI voiceovers over real actors

Aakash Regmi
A person with a gun in The Finals

The Finals has received a glowing reception from the community for its explosive gameplay, but many are now upset by the use of “lazy and unethical” AI voices for the in-game announcers.

Led by ex-Battlefield developers, Embark Studios’ upcoming FPS shooter, The Finals is available for everyone through an open beta until November 5. Despite the genre being already crammed, it has become one of the most anticipated FPS, thanks to its unique flair and heavily destructible environments. 

One thing, however, that has drawn criticism from the community is the use of AI text-to-speech for voiceovers. What’s worse, according to some players, is that Embark Studios previously justified the use and felt “excited” about the prospect of replacing voice actors.

The Finals devs are happy with the “good enough” voice quality

VA Gianni Matragrano posted on X (formerly Twitter) and brought to light how The Finals is using AI for virtually all of their voices in-game.

Many have since voiced their concerns, saying that not only this is “crap” but is also gross and unethical. A user vented their disappointment in replies, saying, “Holy S**T this sounds bad. Like AI voices already come with their own baggage of work ethic issues, but even if the whole world got together and said that AI voices were okay, this would still sound terrible. What the hell”

Another user wrote, “Well – here’s hoping that’s all just placeholder dialogue. ‘Cause man, does it sound awful.” Others more or less hoped that it was a placeholder, also suggesting that Embark hire actual talented voice artists instead of using AI, which many feel is soulless and rips off other artists’ work without consent.

A person posing with The Finals written behind in wall
Announcers’ voices in The Finals are AI, while character voices are real human voices.

However, several players said it is a non-issue as they ‘couldn’t care less.’ Some, meanwhile, were even more fumed when they heard how unempathetic developers sounded towards the profession in their podcast.

Gianni Matragrano also made a follow-up reply and linked a developer podcast on Spotify, where they said they’re more than fine with the use of AI. In their podcast, talking about why they used AI, a dev said:

“And the reason that we go this route is the AI text to speech is finally extremely powerful. It gets us far enough in terms of quality… I think it’s really come into like a ‘new dawn’ when it comes to video game voice and if it sound bit off, it still kinda blends well with the fantasy of virtual game show.” Another dev said, “it’s incredible.. what a time to be alive!”

AI has been unanimously hated by VAs as it threatens their livelihood. Hollywood writers and actors have already taken it to the picket lines, and many VAs want the game industry to rightfully follow. It remains to be seen if Embark Studios will reconsider using AI when it officially launches sometime later this year. 

For more on other FPS games, check out all the details about XDefiant and the upcoming Call of Duty Modern Warfare III.

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