Sponsored By

'The best results and quality needed can only be achieved by experts in their field utilizing GenAI as a new, powerful tool in their creative process.'

Chris Kerr, News Editor

March 13, 2024

2 Min Read
A shadowy figure walking towards a futuristic building adorned with the Keywords logo
Image via Keywords

Global service provider Keywords, which recently worked on acclaimed projects like Alan Wake 2, Baldur's Gate 3, and The Legends of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, conducted an experiment last year.

The company tried to make a 2D video game relying solely on generative AI (GenAI) tools and technology. The R&D initiative was dubbed 'Project Ava' and saw a team, initially from Electric Square Malta, evaluate and leverage over 400 (unnamed) tools to understand how they might "augment" game development.

As detailed in the company's latest fiscal report, however, the project ultimately proved that while some generative AI tools might simplify or accelerate certain processes, they are currently "unable to replace talent."

"Over the six-month process, the team shared their findings across the Group, highlighting where GenAI has the potential to augment the game development process, and where it lags behind," explained Keywords CEO Bertrand Bodson.

"Whilst the project team started small, it identified over 400 tools, evaluating and utilizing those with the best potential. Despite this, we ultimately utilized bench resource from seven different game development studios as part of the project, as the tooling was unable to replace talent.

"One of the key learnings was that whilst GenAI may simplify or accelerate certain processes, the best results and quality needed can only be achieved by experts in their field utilizing GenAI as a new, powerful tool in their creative process."

Bodson said the GenAI title won't be made public, so we'll never know the full extent of its successes and shortcomings. Despite some apparent failings, he said Project Ava was an "excellent" undertaking that enabled Keywords to spread tangible learnings across its various teams.

He also noted that Keywords is pushing ahead with other GenAI R&D projects to ensure it can "provide current insights in an ever-evolving part of the market."

Keywords and GenAI

Although Keywords found GenAI was unable to replace actual humans when tasked with building a game from scratch, the company isn't averse to using the technology in other ways. It has already started leveraging GenAI tools with its Helpshift division to "aid the customer support journey."

Notably, the company also recruited AWS Games' former head of gaming, Stephen Peacock, to spearhead its AI Centre of Excellence, which it says its continually "mapping the landscape" for AI tools that can be deployed in the game development cycle to help clients shape their own AI strategies.

Keywords made headlines last month after failing to credit some translators for their work on Ubisoft's swashbuckling adventure Skull & Bones. The company has since told Game Developer it will amend those credits in a future update.

Read more about:

Generative AI

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.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like