Generative AI set to make games more interactive, says Ubisoft’s Yves Guillemot

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Generative AI (Gen AI) is set to change the way video games are created and played, according to Yves Guillemot, CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft. Speaking to AFP at a Los Angeles event showcasing upcoming releases, Guillemot highlighted the potential of Gen AI for open-world games, while also highlighting the capital costs involved.

As reported by Economic Times, Yves Guillemot, CEO, Ubisoft comments come at an important moment for the gaming industry, which has been exploring new technological boundaries following a post-pandemic boom and subsequent wave of layoffs and cost-cutting measures. The event featured previews of awaited titles such as “Star Wars Outlaws” and “Assassin’s Creed Shadows,” the latter of which transports the historical fiction franchise to feudal Japan.

“What we see with Gen AI is the possibility for those worlds—those action adventure open worlds—to be a lot more interactive and more alive,” Guillemot said. He explained that generative AI could enable non-player characters (NPCs) to engage in dynamic conversations and relationships with players, adding a new layer of depth to the gaming experience. “When I say alive… if you meet a non-playing character, you can speak with that person and you can have a relationship with that person.”

Generative AI, which uses trained computer programs to create content from text to videos based on simple prompts, can have a significant impact on the gaming landscape. However, Guillemot cautioned that the technology’s heavy demand on computer processing power and resources presents a cost challenge. “The only problem is how much it will cost,” he noted.

Since the debut of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022, the gaming industry has been closely watching the potential applications of generative AI. Amidst the dominance of franchise titles like “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite,” the industry has been yearning for innovation. Guillemot sees Gen AI and cloud gaming as key drivers for bringing new experiences to players.

Cloud gaming, which allows users to stream high-quality games without the need for expensive hardware, has been gaining momentum. Supporters argue that it could encourage a more connected gaming community by breaking users away from reliance on specific console ecosystems, such as Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation.

Guillemot also welcomed advancements by Apple and other device manufacturers in enhancing their hardware with more powerful chips. These enhancements could help bring gaming’s increasing computing needs from the cloud to the devices themselves, potentially reducing costs. “Adding AI chips to hardware such as the iPhone or laptop will mean more intelligence in our games and could also ease up on the needs and cost of cloud computing,” he said.

The upcoming releases of “Star Wars Outlaws” on August 30 and “Assassin’s Creed Shadows” on November 12 underscore Ubisoft’s commitment to leveraging new technologies to create immersive and innovative gaming experiences. As the industry moves with the challenges and opportunities presented by generative AI, Guillemot remains optimistic about its potential to reshape the future of gaming. “AI is coming,” he asserted. “We know it can be mass market. The problem is the adoption takes time and we still have the cost issue.”