When you use 3rd party software in developing your game you are not legally allowed to sell the game without paying people for using their software. That is what I meant.
Yes, I understood that part. What I don't understand was how this pushes back the timeline to release. Because if you have more bills, it makes sense to release in time to take advantage of the best season for games. Getting out a game as swiftly as possible to pay things off is a pretty good idea, all other matters being equal.
As for VO, I like that modern games have lots of voice overs, even when done not so perfectly. But it is not a selling point for me. It is more like icing on a cake. But kids that grew up after the golden age of RPG games it is expected for the game to have VO. They would lose more buyers by not having it then by having it.
I don't care one way or the other personally, but I do agree with your point. Once voiceovers started up, it became a kind of "how far can we push this to look cool?" contest with game developers. It's a much easier thing to bring in actors and voice a bunch of lines than to provide lots of game balance, intricate mechanics that are still fun to play, etc--and much easier to market, as well, when the best known models and heroes on the tv geek shows lend their skills, and appear in public to sign autographs. Which isn't to say that everybody uses voiceovers, but it is more or less expected now, at least among A titles.