Square Enix says it plans to be “aggressive in applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies to both our content development and our publishing functions.” Last year, the company committed to exploring blockchain technology and NFTs – a move that we have yet to see return positive results for the publisher. This time, Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu has made another big statement by shifting its efforts towards using AI and generative technologies in the development of its games.
Takashi Kiryu penned a New Year’s Letter announcing that the publisher will aggressively pursue AI, believing that it will be beneficial in future games development. There has been a big debate online about whether or not AI has any place in gaming, especially if it threatens to overtake or replace creative roles in the industry. Those are valid concerns, though some argue that using AI alongside those creative roles might be the right call to make.
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Kiryu starts by stating that the rise of ChatGPT and other generative AI programs have the “potential not only to reshape what we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create, including programming.” He continues:
“In the short term, our goal will be to enhance our development productivity and achieve greater sophistication in our marketing efforts. In the longer term, we hope to leverage those technologies to create new forms of content for consumers, as we believe that technological innovation represents business opportunities.”
Some have welcomed the use of AI in entertainment but many argue that companies’ over-reliance on the tech could have disastrous implications for the future. For example, the Hollywood strikes from the Writers Guild of America and Actors Union last year specifically spoke out against AI replacing jobs in the movie and television industry, especially after executives reportedly set their sights on using artificial intelligence to generate scripts and even use face-capture technology to digitally replicate extras without their consent.
We’ll just have to wait and see if it pays off for Square Enix.