The crypto industry continues to throw NFT shaped rocks at the gaming industry’s hornets nest, and today we’ve waded through some pretty bizarre territory. Prolific video game voice actor Troy baker, best known for playing Joel in The Last of Us, has announced a partnership with “Voiceverse,” a company that claims to turn AI-generated voices into NFT.
Baker seemed to have anticipated the backlash this would cause, and boy, was he right.
There are a number of complaints from fans and other members of the gaming industry here.
1) Support for NFTs, which critics say encourages creative theft and environmental damage, is a “touch the stove” position among many in the industry at this point.
2) Baker seems to be promoting a technology that would theoretically aim to devalue or even replace what he and his fellow voice actors do.
3) Reading the actual plans of Voiceverse, it’s hard to believe the logistical reality of much of it, with arguments full of typical “imagine it was possible!” Language, with hardly anything concrete to show for her.
Baker’s social media is shut down and Voiceverse doesn’t even have a contact page, so I explored his website which makes … interesting statements about the future of these NFT voices. Here is part of his “roadmap”:
“8,888 pfp of Origins associated with unique AI-generated voice models are down in January. The AI voice model will be available for use in the metaverse for real-time communication or for content creation! The Voice NFT will give you unlimited access to this AI voice model.
“Existing Voiceverse NFT holders will receive an Emotion Shot to add various emotions to their NFT Voices to create a new NFT Voice that can express hundreds of different emotions.”
“Proud of your voice? For existing Voiceverse NFT holders, we will open the platform to create your OWN voice as an NFT.
“Forget the TEXT for the talk, now it’s the talk! When you speak, your voice will be converted to your Voice NFT, automatically, in real time. Low latency, so when you’re screaming for healing, you’re not already dead.
It’s not clear if Troy Baker is hitting his own voice for this project, or what exactly his role is. Voiceverse has also grabbed Overwatch voice actress D.Va, Charlet Chung, and he claims you can “find her NFT voice in the Voiceverse”, so the implication seems to be yes, these actors are giving their real voices to this project.
This, of course, raises even more questions. Let’s take a giant leap and assume that Voiceverse can actually do whatever it claims. Can you buy Troy Baker’s voice and make him say… whatever you want? If you create your own voice and then sell it, can someone else do it for you? The problems with this are immediately obvious and vast, and this whole project hardly makes logistical sense.
Baker posted his Voiceverse tweet at 1 a.m. and has been rationed for hours now, with no further comment on his involvement. 99% of his responses are “hate,” as he would put it, many of which say they will no longer follow him or support his plans.
I will update this article if I hear from Baker or Voiceverse with more information.
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