Ukrainian Respeecher worked on character voices for the cult game Cyberpunk 2077

The Ukrainian startup Respeecher, which previously worked on the voice of Darth Vader and the voiceover for the game God Of War Ragnarok, also participated in the voiceover of Cyberpunk 2077, a popular RPG from the CD Projekt RED studio. Respeecher CEO Oleksandr Serdiuk told AIN.Capital about how did it happen.

About the game

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the most recognizable RPGs of the last decade, made by the Polish studio CD Projekt RED, known for its series of games the Witcher (the popularity of the games, in particular, influenced the release of the series The Witcher from Netflix). Not so long ago, a large DLC for Cyberpunk 2077, called Phantom Liberty, was finally released. Both the game and the add-on received Ukrainian voice acting (unfortunately, this is connected with the case of the developers apologizing to the Russians). According to the data for 2022, more than 20 million copies of the game were sold globally.

What did the Ukrainian team work on

According to Serdiuk, not only Respeecher is mentioned in the credits of the game, but also representatives of the team who worked on the project: Volodymyr Ovsienko, Dmytro Vasylets, Anton Ankudinov, Vitaliy Knyr, and Ihor Kaniuk, and this is a cool precedent.

Due to the terms of cooperation, the team does not disclose the details of the task itself, but it is known that Respeecher specializes in creating AI voices that sound very similar to human ones. For example, in 2022, the startup team worked on recreating the legendary voice of world cinema in its “younger” version: actor James Earl Jones, who voiced Darth Vader, for the series about Obi-Wan Kenobi.

They worked on the project for three months. “In projects of this scale, there is usually a lot of feedback from the customer, while less time is needed to train the AI models themselves, depending, of course, on the input data,”

the CEO of the startup says.

How did they get the client

After six years in the industry, Respeecher has quite a few big names in its client portfolio. Its work has been credited on Disney+, Netflix, HBO, Showtime, Paramount, Audible, and hundreds of other projects, the CEO recalls. The startup also worked on a large game project: the AAA game God of War Ragnarok.

How working with gamedev differs from cinema

According to Serdiuk, the common feature of working with Hollywood and AAA gaming studios is that they require the highest quality of sound and voices. And this work differs primarily in volume: if a movie may require the reproduction of several cues, then a game may involve 60 hours of audio conversions.

Gamedev remains one of Respeecher’s core markets. “Now it’s hard to draw a clear line between a film, a series, a video game — one flows into the other. In the media market, video games and film studios remain our priorities,” says the CEO of the startup.

The team is also currently working on their Respeecher Marketplace product for content creators, as well as launching a new real-time voice and accent change product for the communications market.