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EA’s Andrew Wilson Claims Its Developers Have ‘A Real Hunger’ To Use Generative AI To Speed Up Production

There is ‘a real hunger’ among developers to speed up game production using generative AI, according to Andrew Wilson, CEO and chairman of Electronic Arts.

The executive made the comments during a Q&A session following EA’s latest financial result, where he was asked about the company’s plans to use AI in development in the future. In response, Wilson revealed that EA is already implementing AI in game development, with EA Sports FC as an example, where the technology allows it to create football stadiums quicker.

As a company, we’ve been deeply tied to AI since our inception. It has been the very center of all of the games that we create, replicating human intelligence in the context of a game play experience. But certainly, as we think about the wave of generative AI today and as it merges into artificial general intelligence, broadly, we’re still very early.

But the things I talked about in the conference were really both two-fold. One, how do we get more efficient? The stat I used was we’ve moved from being able to create stadiums from 6 months to 6 weeks. And my expectation is that will continue to shrink over time.

Maybe even more profound than that – when we build a game we have animation and run cycles. In FIFA 23, we had 36 run cycles, which gave you a kind of believability of human performance inside of that game. When we launched EA Sports FC 24, we had 1,200 run cycles.

We’ve done analysis across all of our development processes, and right now, based on our early assessment, we believe that more than 50% of our development processes will be positively impacted by the advances in generative AI. And we’ve got teams across the company really looking to execute against that.

The second phase for us, of course, is how do we further expand our games? How do we build bigger worlds with more characters and more interesting story lines?

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If efficiency starts to really take place over the next 1-3 years, our expectation is that, over a 3- to 5-year time horizon, we will be able to, as part of our massive online communities and blockbuster storytelling, build bigger, more immersive worlds that engage more players uniquely around the world. And we think about that on a 3- to 5-year time horizon.

And perhaps on a 5+ year time horizon, we think about how do we take all of those tools we create and offer those to the community at large so that we can actually get new and interesting and innovative and different types of game experiences? Again, not to replace what we do but to augment, enhance, extend, expand the nature of what interactive entertainment can be in much the way YouTube did for traditional film and television.

One of the great advantages, of course, we have is we do have 40 years of data. And so as I think about efficiency over 1-3 years, expansion over 3-5 years, transformation on a 5-year time horizon, it’s actually very plausible that with 40 years of owned data that we have to feed into these models, we actually might be able to accelerate that time frame.

And I would tell you, there is a real hunger amongst our developers to get to this as quickly as possible because, again, the holy grail for us is to build bigger, more innovative, more creative, more fun games more quickly so that we can entertain more people around the world on a global basis at a faster rate.

EA recently announced that it has two unannounced games due out in FY25, with one of those titles reported to be Dragon Age Dreadwolf.

[Source – VGC]