Hi-Rez Studios, the people behind Paladins and Smite, have stated that they will be using AI to clone voices and refused to add in any words to contracts that would protect actors from it

cross-posted from: kbin.social/m/gaming/t/354777

Twitter thread in the link
Henry Schrader:

So, to anyone who doesn’t know, Hi-Rez Studios, the people behind Paladins and Smite, have stated that they will be using AI to clone voices and refused to add in any words to contracts that would protect actors from it. More info in the thread. Please share to other VAs.

@orca@orcas.enjoying.yachts avatar

I will happily continue to not pay for games that do this and I won’t be missing out on anything.

This is on par with restaurants that microwave garbage food. They’re phoning it in to squeeze as much profit as possible out of the product. That tells me you don’t want to make games people enjoy, you want to make games that do nothing but maximize profit. I ain’t here for that shit. I’m willing to pay money for companies that respect art and trades, not ones that worship capitalism and exist to appease assholes in suits.


It will be interesting to see how these kind of things develop over the next few years. Of course, it’s very enticing for developers to use AI voices, as they can probably save massive amounts of money through it. Will the voice actors have any options to stop this?


Unionizing. Voice actors’ union can say no work will be done with studios using ai voices. Similarly to what writers guild is doing towards Hollywood.

Collective pressure and bargaining works.

Will it work 100%? Nope. But it will work well enough.


I mean it won’t be too long until they don’t need any human VAs at all, so they could just completely ignore the union.


And lots of non-VAs/amateurs/non-union-VAs will be willing to sell their voice for a day’s work and a shockingly small cheque. You don’t need professional voice actors if you can get a wide enough range of voices to mix to simulate any desired voice. “Voice mixing” will be a new job pretty quickly.


Hi-rez has always been known for making a good product than ruining it. 8 years later in Paladins and they still haven’t reverted cb12

@Kolanaki@yiffit.net avatar

Fuck Hi-Rez for making a really good Tribes game and then abandoning it for Smite. I sure hope they merely licensed the name and don’t hold rights to the entire IP, cuz I want a good, modern Tribes game so bad.

Fuck them even more for this.


Agreed. I miss Tribes :(

Hi-Rez bought Tribes from Sierra back in 2010 so they likely own the IP, unfortunately.

lloram239, (edited )

I don’t really see a problem with this, quite the opposite, it’s an important step forward for gaming. It’s similar to the transition from FMV to motion capture. You can complain all day long that the actors will be out of the job when games can render them in real time, but for the time being at least, you still need them, it’s just that their recorded performance will not be the final result you see in the game. Voice recordings are malleable now and can be changed and edited in ways that weren’t possible before. This opens up a lot of possibility that just wouldn’t have been affordable before, e.g. similar to how a real time rendered sequence can reflect your current equipment, which a FMV could not, a AI-voice can now reflect your custom character, name, race, health, age, gender and whatever, without having an actor record the same line a million times.

And yeah, maybe the celebrity voice actor might lose a bit of status and become more like the mo-cap stunt man. But for gaming as a whole, I just see nothing but upsides. And it’s not just AAA games either, just look at all the small indie games that can’t afford voice acting, only for some lines or only English, with AI they can offer all the languages and all the lines, for which it would have been impossible to pay for without AI.

And it’s not like the voice actor is out of a job, if you want some AAA level performance, you can’t just get that out of AI just yet. AI is great at transforming and editing content, but much less good at generating original content from scratch, especially if it needs to fit a given artistic vision.


Generally I wouldn’t have a problem with this if use is restricted to the specific game, and the payment was satisfactory.


Never forget the guys who founded hi rez come from ncr a cash register company. They believe in money first.

I loved tribes and they killed it for smite. I actually loved smite a ton and played it a lot.


ah man. I kind of liked paladin’s hussle as the overwatch lunch-stealers. Now who am I supposed to root for? TF2 again? Is that game even still alive?

@Exec@pawb.social avatar

Now who am I supposed to root for? TF2 again? Is that game even still alive?

Yes; Yes.


So sad these guys own the Tribes IP


I really enjoyed tribes ascend for a little bit. But nothing will ever compare to tribes 1 and 2.



I read Hi-Rez in the title and was briefly hopeful for Tribes news. Nope


I cry every time. I don’t understand why some indie dev hasn’t created a mechanical rip off yet, imagine battlebit but instead of battlefield it’s tribes. I want to believe it would be huge.


It’s not gimmicky enough for modern players. Sure, skiing took skill and you had different armors and loadouts, but aside from that it was still simple.


Wow! Another Tribes-series player in the wild.

I don’t know who’s idea it was to put out the update that overhauled the classes and game modes in Tribes:Ascend (Out of the Blue, 1.3, 2015)… I had lost the niches that I loved with my specific class and it felt like the game I was playing was different compared to the one prior to that patch.

I was a bad shot then (I was but I still am, too), but god damn if I couldn’t rack up those points with my turret placement.

@shapis@lemmy.ml avatar

Worst part of reading this is that I do not remember the year. Or the patch number. But Im fairly positive I know exactly about what you are talking about.


I’m actually a Tribes 1 player, when 2 came out my PC wasn’t good enough to play it. Tried Ascend but I couldn’t get into it, didn’t seem bad tho.


Tribes:Ascend WAS good, for a time imo, but got neglected in favour of MoBAs.

Nice thing is they hosted the Tribes 1 and 2 online for free, if you wanted to see your current PC run it.

@CalcProgrammer1@lemmy.ml avatar

They already refuse to fix their EAC so that the game can run on Linux so I can’t not play their game any more than I already do. I played Paladins briefly when Overwatch was having its China drama and enjoyed it, but I’m done booting Windows to play games.

@sparrow@pawb.social avatar

Their game runs just fine on Linux. Been playing it there for months now.

@CalcProgrammer1@lemmy.ml avatar

Paladins doesn’t, the anti-cheat kicks you out if you play anything other than the tutorial.

mihnt avatar

Ugh. I used to love what Hi-Rez put out. Global Agenda was probably my favorite game by them. From my home state as well. They've always made terrible business decisions though. This, of course, is no exception


GA was my first introduction to them, I should have learned when that closed down. The loss of Tribes was a huge blow.

Arotrios avatar

This reduces the minuscule interest I had in replaying Paladins to a negative number. Smite's been nothing but frustrating garbage, but I thought that with a bit of polish and a lot more character development, Paladins had promise when it came out. Starting a labor dispute to begin a practice that will degrade the overall quality of the game means it's not worth my hard disk space to install their products - it's clear things are only going to get worse for Hi-Rez titles from here.


Haven’t played for a couple of years now, but honestly loved Paladins and Smite appealed to me in concept (never really had enough time to spare to learn how to play MOBA). While the communities and creatives in and around the games are awesome, it’s been known that the higher-ups and some of the management are extremely shitty forever. It’s one of the reasons why the games didn’t get the attention they deserve, why the promising esports scenes around them are dead etc. Not surprised, but still sad they’ve decided to fuck over the VAs like that and shoot themselves in the foot once again in terms of reputation

snipgan avatar

I definitely think some sort of residuals or compensation for reusing their voice AI should happen if they are profiting off of it.

That being said, I see a world in the very near future where voice actors don't even act out their lines and just say a number of things for recording to train an AI voiced version of themselves. Then directors/creators and just manipulate and use it as they please to create their product.

Some mods in games are getting this already, voiced Morrowind and the like, and I definitely seeing it as a boon. Voice acting has always been a weak point when it came to stuff like that as you can write/script/design the best you can but can lack decent/any voice acting.

Interested to see how things play out.


Yep, even if they don’t clone an existing VA, they’ll be able to find others willing to sell their voice for AI, or just have an AI generate a voice from a mixture of different people. The existing VAs will then never be hired.

Accurate and well executed computer voice is a goal of too many technologies to remain unsolved for long. It sucks for the VAs, but there’s no way to go back.


This world is already here, and it’s not even limited to creative industries. Deutsche Bahn AG, the German railway corporation, has already implemented this for the announcements in their stations.

Jaysyn avatar

It sucks that I can't boycott their garbage anymore than I already do.


Not sure I’d really consider it boycotting if their product is garbage anyways


Torrent and share their games to affect their bottom line.


They are online only games and free. So there’s no piracy you can really pull.


Torrenting their free-to-play games?

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