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Square Enix will aggressively leverage AI in 2024 to create "new forms of content"

"I believe that generative AI has the potential not only to reshape what we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create."

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 2, 2024

3 Min Read
A Square Enix booth at a video game expo
Image via Square Enix

Final Fantasy maker Square Enix will be "aggressive" when applying AI and other technologies throughout 2024 to "create new forms of content for consumers."

Square Enix president and representative director, Takashi Kiryu, made the pledge in the company's annual new year's letter.

Although Kiryu also expressed an interest in leveraging blockchain and cloud tech, he appears to be particularly smitten with the perceived potential of generative AI—and less concerned about the negative impact it could have on the game industry and the developers within it.

"Artificial intelligence and its potential implications had for some time largely been subjects of academic debate," he wrote. "However, the introduction of ChatGPT, which allows anyone to easily produce writing or translations or to engage in text-based dialogue, sparked the rapid spread of generative AIs.

"Its release made it apparent that the applicability of generative AI was by no means limited to text, and the subsequent months saw a quick succession of launches of new services and content that expanded generative AI into a variety of domains with close ties to digital entertainment, including images, video, and music.

"I believe that generative AI has the potential not only to reshape what we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create, including programming."

Generative AI debate will continue in 2024

It's interesting to see Kiryu name-drop ChatGPT when discussing generative AI tech that might be used to reshape the creative process, largely because the model has been trained using information publicly available on the internet (including some personal information).

That has raised legal and ethical concerns about whether the text produced by ChatGPT is the result of plagiarism. As reported by the BBC, the New York Times recently filed a lawsuit against OpenAI and Microsoft after alleging the system was trained using "millions" of NYT articles. The publication is seeking billions of dollars in damages.

Others within the game industry share those concerns. Last year, Valve said the "legal uncertainty" surrounding generative AI usage has made it wary of platforming titles that leverage the technology on Steam. Humble Games also indicated it might restrict AI usage in future publishing contracts, while voice actors began seeking assurances over how their performances will be used in conjunction with AI tools.

There are some, however, who feel that trepidation is misplaced. Companies like Microsoft and Sega are advocating for the technology and claim it can be used to make life easier for developers, while a group of developers gathered at DICE 2023 appeared excited by how the tech might eliminate some of the more menial tasks associated with game development.

Kiryu and Square Enix appear to be in the latter camp and seem convinced that generative AI will empower developers.

As for how the tech fits into the Japanese publisher's broader plan for 2024, Kiryu said the company is implementing a "Grand Design" that will enable it to "stride forward" and deliver growth. "Never fearing change and always maintaining a challenger’s mindset, we will work together as one to drive our businesses forward," he added.

You can read the president's letter in full by clicking right here.

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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