Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has confirmed it used AI voice cloning software to reconstruct the voice of a deceased actor for its Phantom Liberty DLC. Actor Miłogost Reczek voiced the character Viktor Vektor in the Polish version of the game and would have been tapped to reprise the role for the DLC, which came out last month, but he died in 2021 before its production. The developer told Bloomberg it decided to go this route as a way to “pay tribute to his wonderful performance,” and was given permission to do so by his family.
Instead of replacing Reczek outright, CD Projekt Red worked with Respeecher, the Ukraine-based voice tech company known for deaging Mark Hamill’s voice in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett to create a young Luke Skywalker. Another actor was hired to speak the new lines, and Respeecher’s software reworked them into Reczek’s voice, CD Projekt localization director Mikołaj Szwed told Bloomberg. Reczek, who Szwed described as “one of the best Polish voice talents,” had also voiced major roles in The Witcher series.
AI has become a contentious topic in the entertainment industry, and striking Hollywood actors are currently fighting for more protections around the use of their likenesses, among other things. In September, SAG-AFTRA voted in favor of a strike authorization for video game actors, too, whose jobs could be threatened by studios’ increasing reliance on AI. Zelda Williams — Robin Williams’ daughter — recently slammed the practice of emulating deceased actors using AI, saying that they cannot consent. In this case, CD Projekt Red says Reczek’s family was “very supportive.”