Mass Effect actor criticizes AI voiceover in games, saying, It can’t inject the life into those ‘casings’ like we can.

Continuing with SAG-AFTRA's highly contentious AI agreement earlier this week

AI Voiceover: A Controversy in the Gaming Industry


Prominent voice actor Jennifer Hale has recently voiced her concerns over the growing use of AI-manipulated voiceover in the gaming industry. Hale, known for her iconic performances in games like Bayonetta 3, Overwatch, and the Mass Effect Trilogy, took to social media to express her discontent.

In a poetic tweet, Hale wrote, “Technology can reproduce someone’s appearance, it can reproduce the sound of their voice. It cannot send through the oxygen that brings those ‘casings’ to life, the clarion call of their soul, the unique sGameTopicature that is the essence of every single one of us. All else is hollow.” Her words highlight the belief that AI fails to capture the essence and human touch that voice actors bring to the table.

Hale’s comments come amid a controversy involving the US union SAG-AFTRA and Replica Studios. The union recently announced a joint deal with Replica Studios, which allows professional voiceover artists to explore new employment opportunities for their digital voice replicas. However, the deal has faced backlash from high-profile voice actors, including those from Starfield, Diablo 4, and Baldur’s Gate 3. Many union members were allegedly not consulted, leading to disappointment and anger within the community.

This isn’t the first time AI manipulation has sparked debate in the gaming industry. Microsoft’s partnership with InWorld AI, aimed at generating dialogue, quests, and “story,” was met with criticism from actors who feared losing their roles to AI-driven systems. The concern was that AI development was driven by cost-cutting rather than enhancing the workload for developers.

The discontent with AI in gaming extends beyond voice actors. Famed director Hideo Kojima expressed his belief that “humans should be above AI.” Even the developers behind Whisker Squadron, the visually stunning space combat roguelike, refused to use AI for voiceover work. Indie developer Xalavier Nelson Jr. shared his struggles with generative AI, mentioning that his comedy game, “An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs,” would face difficulties in development in today’s AI-driven climate.

While AI in gaming may have its advantages, concerns continue to grow about the loss of human touch and the risks associated with relying heavily on AI-generated content. As the gaming industry moves forward, it is crucial to strike a balance between innovation and preserving the unique contributions of human talent.

Q&A: Addressing Readers’ Concerns

Q: Why is there a controversy surrounding AI voiceover in the gaming industry? A: The controversy stems from the fear that AI voiceover lacks the human touch and fails to capture the essence and uniqueness of voice actors’ performances. Many actors and industry professionals believe that AI can’t replicate the “casings” that bring characters to life.

Q: How does this controversy affect voice actors in the gaming industry? A: Voice actors express concern that AI-driven systems may replace their roles in games, leading to a loss of employment opportunities. The joint deal between SAG-AFTRA and Replica Studios has faced criticism for allegedly not consulting with union members beforehand.

Q: Are voice actors the only ones concerned about AI in gaming? A: No, various industry professionals and developers share concerns about AI in gaming. Famous director Hideo Kojima believes that “humans should be above AI.” Some developers refuse to use AI for voiceover work, and others express difficulties in developing games due to the risks associated with generative AI.

Q: What are the potential advantages of using AI in gaming? A: AI in gaming can offer improved speech synthesis and generate dialogue, quests, and story elements. It has the potential to reduce development time and costs while expanding creative possibilities.

Q: Can you recommend any upcoming indie games developed by humans? A: Absolutely! Check out our list of upcoming indies for 2024 to discover games made by real human developers. Click here to explore the upcoming indies of 2024.



In conclusion, the discourse surrounding AI voiceover in the gaming industry reflects the ongoing struggle to strike a balance between technological advancements and maintaining the unique qualities that voice actors bring to gaming experiences. As the debate continues, it is essential to consider the concerns of the industry professionals and find solutions that preserve the human touch while harnessing the potential of AI. Share your thoughts on this topic and let us know how you think AI can be effectively integrated into gaming. Don’t forget to spread the word and share this article on social media!