Ubisoft’s Metroidvania platformer Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown currently has a character that’s being voiced by a text-to-speech (TTS). And no one seems to know why.
Thanks to an IGN report, we know that an in-game character named Kalux was voiced using TTS, a popular program amongst steamers. In a video posted by IGN, you can hear the voice for yourself whenever the main character travels anywhere on the map.
When Side UK, the production studio, was asked about who’s responsible for the usage of the TTS voicing a character, the studio had this to say:
“SIDE London provides casting, production management, voice direction, voice recording, and post-production in Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, for which we work with a talented cast of professional actors. As a production company, we did not have visibility of any other voice design plans, TTS or otherwise, Ubisoft had for the game.”
The IGN report goes on to explain that after Side UK denied approving using TTS to voice a character, Ubisoft committed to the matter and stated:
“During the development process of a game, some teams use multiple placeholder assets, including text-to-speech voiceover, until final dubbing is delivered. The English version of these 8 lines of text for this character were not properly implemented but will be swapped out and updated with an upcoming patch. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is fully voice-overed in English, French, Spanish, German and Farsi with more than 12,000 lines in total. It is also subtitled in Italian, Portuguese-Brazilian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Polish and Japanese.”
Although Ubisoft didn’t give a clear answer on using TTS, it does point out that using these programs is fairly common when creating a game and is mostly used as placeholders until a human can come in and voice the character. Kalux doesn’t have an English voice credit to make things even more bizarre. It should be fixed by late January or early February.
It’s also worth pointing out that the usage of programs like these and AI has been a hot topic as of late. Just recently, SAG-AFTRA signed a controversial agreement that would allow an AI studio to create voices on union projects. This was met with immediate backlash by various voice actors, such as Steve Blum, who tweeted, “Nobody in our community approved this that I know of. Games are the bulk of my livelihood and have been for years. Who are you referring to?”
Be sure to read our Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown review, where Steve Watts wrote: “Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a sea change for the long-running series, and almost as dramatic a shift as Sands of Time was when it took the classic platformer series into 3D. This new genre debut is so confident and impeccably crafted that this should simply be the identity of Prince of Persia for the foreseeable future.”