Ubisoft CEO: AI will ‘transform gaming’ but it’s expensive

LOS ANGELES Generative artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the way video games are designed and played. But its capital costs pose a serious obstacle, according to Ubisoft’s CEO, who spoke with AFP on Tuesday, June 10.

Yves Guillemot, speaking at an event in Los Angeles showcasing upcoming titles, said that generative AI (or Gen AI) could make open world games, such as Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series, feel “more alive”.

The event featured the highly anticipated Star Wars Outlaws which is based on the world of the iconic movie series and Assassin’s Creed: Shadows that takes the historical fiction franchise into feudal Japan.

The Ubisoft Forward Showcase 2024 presentation took place at the Belasco Theater, Los Angeles on June 10, 2024. AFP

He said that “what we see with GenAI is the potential for these worlds, those open action adventure worlds, to be more interactive and alive.”

“When I said alive… If you meet a character that is not a player, you can talk to them and have a relationship.”

He said that generative AI will “transform our games” as it allows computer programs to create anything from text to video in seconds based on simple instructions.

Guillemot stated that the only issue is cost, due to the high demand for computer processing and resources required to train models.

Since the release of ChatGPT, a generative game in 2022 that was wildly popularized by the public, the industry has been watching to see how the technology can change it.

On June 9, 2024, attendees play “Star Wars Outlaws” at Ubisoft Forward’s conference at The Belasco, Los Angeles, California. The CEO of French gaming giant Ubisoft, told AFP that while generative AI will transform the way video games are designed and played, its capital costs pose a major obstacle. — AFP

The video game industry is on the backfoot after a boom in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. There have been a number of layoffs, and companies have cut costs.

This sector is also struggling due to the dominance franchise titles such as call of duty and fortnite.

Star Wars Outlaws is scheduled to be released on 30 August, while Assassin’s Creed: Shadowsis set for a debut on 12 November.

Shift the cloud

We are missing big innovations in the industry. Guillemot stated that we needed genAI and cloud to help us bring truly new experiences.

Guillemot, speaking at a Los Angeles showcase of upcoming releases, said that generative AI (or Gen AI) could make open world games such as Ubisoft’s blockbuster ‘Assassin’s Creed’ feel even’more live’. — AFP

Cloud gaming has quickly gained popularity in the gaming industry. It allows users to play and stream high-quality video games without needing expensive hardware or dedicated consoles.

Cloud gaming advocates say that the move could create a vibrant, connected gaming community by allowing users to stop relying solely on consoles such as Sony’s PlayStation or Xbox.

Guillemot welcomed Apple’s and other device makers’ efforts to boost their hardware with powerful chips. This could bring gaming computing requirements out of the cloud, and onto the device.

Addition of AI chips in hardware, such as an iPhone or laptop, “will result in more intelligence for our games”, and also reduce the need and cost for cloud computing.

Guillemot stated, “AI is on its way.” We know that it is mass marketable. “The problem is that adoption takes time, and there’s still the cost issue.” – AFP

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