Nintendo Sees Potential In Generative AI, But Won’t Make Games Created “By Technology Alone”

Several video game companies have begun exploring how generative AI can help with the development process of their titles, but Nintendo isn’t ready to embrace the technology just yet. When asked in a shareholder Q&A if the company had any initiatives in place to use AI, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa explained that AI could be used “in creative ways” but there were also “issues with intellectual property rights” to deal with.

“Generative AI, which is becoming a big topic recently, can be used in creative ways, but we recognize that it may also raise issues with intellectual property rights,” Furukawa said. While Nintendo is open to “utilizing technological developments,” it is currently relying on its experienced employees to develop unique games.

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“We have decades of know-how in creating the best gaming experiences for our players. While we are open to utilizing technological developments, we will work to continue delivering value that is unique to Nintendo and cannot be created by technology alone,” Furukawa said.

In comparison, companies like EA and Ubisoft have big plans for generative AI. In March, EA boss Andrew Wilson spoke about how AI could be used to develop games more quickly and it how it could potentially be used to make 10%-20% more revenue from microtransactions.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is heavily invested in AI and has said AI will be featured in every product it makes going forward, including Xbox, and Ubisoft plans to create AI NPCs that players can have conversations with.

A major concern about the usage of generative AI in the workplace is that it will lead to job losses. Last year, Wilson said that this was a legitimate concern, although he added that there might be “meaningful increases” in job opportunities in the future. In February, EA announced that it was laying off 5% of its staff, or around 670 employees. While not directly related to AI, Microsoft also cut 1,900 people from its video game division earlier this year.

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