Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown, the upcoming side-scrolling platformer from Ubisoft, is one short week away from release. The game aims to take the series back to its roots, delivering fast-paced action in a point of view sorely missed by the franchise for years. While a lot of effort has been put into the game, some folks have questioned the strange inclusion of a character that’s seemingly voiced by a text-to-speech (TTS) program.
According to an IGN report, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown features a character named Kalux who is voiced by TTS, a popular program amongst streamers. Kalux usually speaks whenever the player travels anywhere on the map (you can hear it in the video posted by IGN). Usually most developers would let this slide and not address the issue, but Ubisoft actually released a statement regarding the use of the text-to-speech program in the game.
Ubisoft’s reply to the text-to-speech character in The Lost Crown reads:
“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.”
In the statement, Ubisoft chalks it up to an oversight during development where the placeholder wasn’t updated to include an actual human voiceover. However, the company promises that it will be fixed in an upcoming patch which is great news.
The timing of this debacle couldn’t have come at a worse time as the actors union SAG-AFTRA recently came under fire by video game voice actors for approving a deal with an AI firm to use artificial intelligence to replicate voice actors (with their consent) while the union claimed that it consulted top industry professionals first. Several upset professional voice actors came forward to state that this wasn’t the case.
Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown releases on 18 January 2024 for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch and PC. Read our full review right here.