Ubisoft CEO says “I expect a lot from gen AI in our games” and thinks it’ll make them feel “more alive and richer”

Ubisoft is doubling down on its plans to integrate generative AI in its games, and CEO Yves Guillemot also believes it might be used to “automatize” parts of certain jobs at the company.

Back at the Game Developers Conference in March, Ubisoft unveiled what it called Project NEO NPC, an effort to build NPCs driven by generative AI. That only sounded kinda weird until we got to the “soul” and a female character that was reprogrammed for being too “flirtatious and seductive,” and in an online world increasingly weary of AI content generation, the rundown was pretty roundly mocked on social media.

Nonetheless, as part of Ubisoft’s latest financial report, the company highlighted its continued investment in “the potential of new technologies that can open new frontiers for creativity and players’ experience, especially Generative AI.” The company adds that “beyond several ongoing internal projects, Ubisoft also partners with leading AI companies on joint initiatives.”

In a Q&A with investors following the release of these financial results, Guillemot said that “We have two groups working on gen AI. One pool to the different jobs that we have – marketing, sales, IT, legal, and all the other jobs – where we look at how we can be more efficient, and how we can automatize a certain number of things. That’s coming along quite well, with good systems to improve our efficiency there.”

The other group, of course, is focused on “how we can improve the quality of our games, in making those games more alive. So we did present a new NPC at the last conference. It was well appreciated, and it showed what we will be able to do in our games that will make them more alive and richer. So I expect a lot from gen AI in our games, to make our games more interesting and for people to really have a personalized experience.”

It’s probably too soon to expect these sorts of NPCs to start showing up in Assassin’s Creed Shadows or Star Wars Outlaws this year, but there are a whole lot of upcoming Ubisoft games on the horizon. It seems the company is committed.

Cyberpunk 2077 quest lead says CDPR has explored AI generation, but bots just can’t compare to writers: “The gap in quality, specifically, is huge.”

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