Question: Why do developers add unnecessary speech effects in games?
Just because games can handle/hold audio dialogue bits in their memory doesn't mean they should. Sometimes less is more. Take Civilization on the SNES for example. The game was on cartridge, so it wasn't feasible to cram any random bits of speech in there. And the game was all the better for it. Years later, along comes Civilization: Revolution on Xbox 360 and PS3. Suddenly, because of the greater storage capacity of discs, the developers thought it a good idea to add speech effects every time you encounter another nation. These speech effects were incoherent garbled nonsense, some of which were along the lines of "Lallum, fallum". And, they became very annoying as the game progressed and began being contacted by foreign leaders on a more frequent basis. Why include this? It adds nothing to the immersion of the game, but almost certainly reduces said immersion by virtue of the annoyance factor.
Nintendo has added audio dialogue to their Fire Emblem series to a less annoying degree in games like Awakening & Fates. Rather than incoherent nonsense, characters will speak a complete phrase that attempts to vaguely relate to the actual speech bubble which appears on screen. But even in this case, if the speech bubble itself isn't going to be spoken exactly, why bother with the pre-programmed phrases? To me, the only semi-related audio dialogue feels tacked on just for the sake of being there. It doesn't add to my experience or enjoyment of the game. If they weren't present in the game, I don't feel like the presentation value of the game would drop in the slightest. The cut-scenes are fully voiced, so if the random bits were axed, I don't the games would be lacking in the slightest.
The most recent experience that comes to mind was my playing Tiny Metal on Nintendo Switch last night. Every time you do anything with a unit, move, attack, anything, the unit speaks a quick line of dialogue. Because every single turn consists of moving units to advance, attack, capture buildings, etc., you hear these handful of phrases over and over again ("Ready to Roll", etc). I like Tiny Metal very much, just as I did Advance Wars which inspired it. But even my wife who wasn't paying attention to the screen, but overheard the game, commented "wow, that's going to get annoying fast". Imagine a Transformers game where you control Optimus Prime and he has to say "Autobots, roll out" before every single time he moves. It would be cool the first couple of times, but surely it would wear out it's welcome very quickly. (Maybe there is a Transformers game that actually does do this, I don't know)
So, why do developers feel the need to insert these bits of audible speech in to games where the novelty wears thin rather quickly? Is it because of a perceived notion that because of the year and tech, a game without this would be perceived as somehow lacking or primitive? Sometimes less is more. Do you think developers are overthinking it, or am I just easily annoyed?