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This Witcher 3 Mod Has People Worried About The Future Of Gaming

A fan-created "Witcher 3" mod has people talking, but not because of anything to do with its plot. "A Night to Remember" was created by Nikich340 using CyberVoice, a voice-generating AI that some believe could have a detrimental impact on the future of gaming.


"A Night to Remember" picks up where the "Blood and Wine" expansion left off, putting gamers in the capable boots of Geralt of Rivera. While Geralt's voice actor, Doug Cockle, did not take part in the mod, the AI technology used by Nikich340 was able to create new dialogue by synthesizing and imitating Cockle's previously recorded work. The actor himself has not yet commented on the situation, but many in the voice acting community are upset by the implications of this AI.

While creating new content using an artificial version of an actor's voice without their involvement strikes many as shady, there's actually a  precedent for this in the games industry. For example, as reported by Game Rant, "The Outer Worlds 2" used similar AI technology as a "placeholder" for the actual actors to record over later. 


The AI technology Nikich340 used for "A Night to Remember" comes from Russian company Mind Simulation Lab. Input Mag notes that although many other mods have used similar tech, they have typically done so to give dialogue to less central game elements, like NPCs. The idea of replacing a lead actor with an artificial intelligence has proven to be a hot button subject among other performers.

Actors Against AI

"Divinity Original Sin 2" and "Frostpunk" voice actor Jay Britton took to Twitter to share his feeling on the subject. "Replacing actors with AI is not only a legal minefield but an utterly souless [sic] choice," he wrote. 


Meanwhile, "Baldur's Gate 3" voice actor and voice director Thomas Mitchells shared a similar sentiment with Input Mag. He spoke to the creativity, passion, and hard work that go into acting and how AI lacks all of that. In his words, "imagine becoming a character loved by many but you didn't do a single thing to contribute towards that role. Zero creativity from the actor. Zero fulfillment. Zero art."

Britton isn't the only one with concerns. As "Assassin's Creed Valhalla" voice actor Natalie Winter told Input Mag, "There's the kneejerk concern of 'It's going to take our jobs,' and I do believe, in some cases, that will happen." Winter also believes there's one specific thing AI will never be able to replicate: "If your AI voice doesn't breathe, it's never going to carry the emotional weight that a human's performance can."


If you're thinking of playing the controversial "A Night to Remember" mod for yourself, you might want to get up to speed on the game's complex story.