Developer Embark and publisher Nexon have had a huge success so far with the open beta of its upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter The Finals. Since launching the open beta for the PC, Xbox Series S|X and PS5 platform last week, it’s become so popular that the developer had to put in a temporary login queue to join matches while it scrambled to add more servers to the game.
Currently, The PC version of The Finals is the fifth most-played game on Steam, with over 130,000 concurrent players as of this writing. However, the game and its developer are now taking some heat for one of the game’s features.
As reported by PCGamesN, The Finals uses AI-based text-to-speech for most of the “acting” from its in-game commentators and characters. The game itself is set in the near future, where virtual players shoot it out in arenas for a television audience, while unseen commentators offer their take on the matches.
In a podcast interview that was posted back in July, Embark’s audio designer Andreas Almström stated:
We use AI with a few exceptions, so all the contestant voices like the barks and both of our commentators are AI text-to-speech. For things we call vocalizations like player breathing, vaulting, jumping, that’s something we use us in the studio to record. We can’t really get the AI to perform those kinds of tasks yet.
He added that the reason the developer went the AI voice route was that it “allows us to be extremely reactive to new ideas and keep things really, really fresh,”
However, some people are not happy with Embark’s move to use AI for most of the voice work. That includes some professional voice actors like Gianni Matragrano. In a post on X (formerly Twitter) he stated:
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 need.
It will be interesting to see if Embark will take some of this feedback to heart when the final version of the game is released. The open beta for The Finals is scheduled to end on November 5.