There's a 'Real Hunger' for AI to Make Game Dev More Efficient, Says EA Boss 1

EA's head honcho, Andrew Wilson, sounds extremely excited about the potential of generative AI tools. Speaking in a Q&A session following its latest financial briefing (thanks, VGC), the Aussie CEO responded to a question about how the publisher is planning to utilise AI in the future, and he thinks it'll have a profound impact on game development.

Wilson uses EA Sports FC as an example of how the company is already taking advantage of AI to help build its games. One example of how AI aids development of the football sim is the time it takes to build stadiums; Wilson says the team has cut this time down "from six months to six weeks", and he expects that "to shrink over time".

Giving another example of the benefits of AI, he says FIFA 23 featured 32 run cycles for all its characters. In EA Sports FC 24, Wilson says it uses "1,200 run cycles", which "adds to the individuality and uniqueness of each player, and delivers our players more immersion in the game, a more engaging experience that is more true to what they watch on television on a Sunday afternoon".

He says that bringing AI into its game development is a matter of "how can it make us more efficient, how can it give our developers more power, how can it give them back more time and allow them to get to the fun more quickly". Wilson says, after a thorough analysis, it expects that AI will make a positive impact on "more than 50%" of its development processes.

Apparently, "there is a real hunger amongst our developers to get to this as quickly as possible", because making development more efficient will enable studios to "build bigger, more innovative, more creative, more fun games more quickly".

We've seen a fair few publishers and higher-ups share a similar sentiment about generative AI. While there's a lot of uncertainty around it, given that there are concerns it'll replace artists, writers, and other creatives, the reality seems to be that it will be implemented in smart ways to ease pressure on developers, or make certain processes more efficient. Sony's Shuhei Yoshida said as much last year, for example.

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