CereProc, the UK’s leading Text-to-Speech company, is today warning London-based games developers to embrace synthetic speech technologies if they are to stay agile and flexible during tough economic times. Synthetic speech has the capability to support or replace expensive voice talent in games, or to act as placeholder content during the development process, significantly lowering the cost of production.
Dr Matthew Aylett, CSO of CereProc said, “We’ve seen a host of developers producing triple-A content but still struggling to stay afloat.
“It’s heart-breaking to see the likes of THQ, Lionhead and Crytek going bust despite producing some of the most memorable games in the last twenty years.”
Synthetic voices have the capability to replace or augment voice talent in a number of ways. For example, organisations have used them to provide speech content during the late development of a game; this way, if part of the game is scrapped later on, no money is wasted on actors. Similarly, nuanced, regional voices can be created for characters within games – or actor’s voices can even be cloned in as little as a working week, freeing them up from repetitive studio time – saving studios money and allowing teams to be much more agile.
Aylett added, “In the past, games producers have paid a fortune for the likes of Peter Dinklage in Destiny, Keanu Reeves in Cyberpunk 2077, or even Sean Bean in Oblivion.
“Actors’ schedules are often highly contested – for example, the recent Borderlands 2 DLC was released seven years after the original game; I’m astonished that the team managed to get all of the voice talent in the studio in time for the release! By using cloned or synthetic voices – such as in the hit PlayStation game It’s Quiz Time – games studios can stay flexible and keep costs down, without compromising on nuance, accent or quality, surviving in an exceptionally tough economic environment.”
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