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Nintendo president says generative AI can be used in 'creative ways'

Contrary to recent reports, Nintendo hasn't ruled out using generative AI technology, but emphasized that games 'cannot be created by technology alone.'

Chris Kerr, News Editor

July 4, 2024

2 Min Read
A headshot of Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa
Headshot via Nintendo

Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa believes generative AI technology "can be used in creative ways," but added that video games "cannot be created by technology alone."

During a recent investor Q&A, Furukawa was asked whether Nintendo is currently leveraging AI technology internally. Reading between the lines, the president pointed out that AI tech has always been prevalent in game development, but offered a comment on the rise of generative AI tools and how they might be applied.

"I believe that game development and AI technology have always had a close relationship. 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," he said.

"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."

It's a statement that doesn't completely rule out the possibility of generative AI being deployed within Nintendo, while acknowledging that video games will always need a human touch.

Generative AI has become a hot topic in the game industry. Despite legal and ethical concerns surrounding the technology, which some feel could lead to copyright disputes and layoffs, a number of major companies have suggested it could be used to streamline production and enrich game worlds.

Earlier this year, Embracer rolled out a new AI policy it claimed will "massively game enhance development" by "increasing resource efficiency, adding intelligent behaviours, personalisation, and optimisation to gameplay experiences."

Ubisoft is harnessing the tech to create 'NEO NPCs' that have more diverse backgrounds and personalities, and can converse with players in real-time. EA boss Andrew Wilson also appears to be a fan of generative AI, and recently claimed 60 percent of development process at the company could be "impacted" by the tech. 

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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