Cyberpunk 2077 Used AI to Replace a Deceased Voice Actor

Cyberpunk 2077 Developer Honors Late Voice Actor with AI Technology in Expansion

CD Projekt Red, the developer of Cyberpunk 2077, has used artificial intelligence (AI) to replicate the voice of the late Miłogost Reczek in its expansion, Phantom Liberty.

Unfortunately, Reczek passed away in 2021, after portraying V’s friend Viktor Vektor in the base game. However, CD Projekt Red wanted to bring back the character for Phantom Liberty in a small role. Initially, the team considered recasting Viktor and re-recording the lines from the main game to maintain continuity. However, they deemed it disrespectful to Reczek and opted for a different approach.

AI Technology Used in Cyberpunk 2077

According to CD Projekt’s localization director, Mikołaj Szwed, they were not satisfied with the idea of recasting. Reczek was praised as one of the best Polish voice actors, and his performance as Viktor Vektor was exceptional. With permission from Reczek’s sons, the developers decided to utilize AI technology to preserve his performance in the game and pay tribute to his talent.

The developer reached out to Reczek’s family and obtained their consent to use AI for the expansion. Szwed confirmed that Reczek’s sons fully supported the decision.

CD Projekt Red utilized Respeecher, a technology that creates AI-driven performances. In this process, another actor recorded the lines, which were then fed into the program to make them sound like Reczek. The AI utilized samples of Reczek’s previous work to replicate his voice.

This use of AI to recreate a late voice actor’s performance comes at a time when the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is striking against similar applications of the technology. AI has increasingly become a threat to actors and writers, as some companies view it as a time and money-saving solution. Recently, the Writers Guild of America negotiated with Hollywood to prevent the replacement of writers with AI.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a popular game available on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. However, the expansion, Phantom Liberty, is exclusively available on the PS5 platform.