Square Enix Will Be ‘Aggressive’ With Using AI For Development, CEO Says

Square Enix Will Be ‘Aggressive’ With Using AI For Development, CEO Says

It’s just two days into 2024 and a major video game company is already talking about its big AI plans. If you thought we were leaving AI discourse behind in 2023, I’m sorry to tell you that you were very, very wrong. A New Year’s letter from the current Square Enix president details the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth publisher’s future outlook, which includes an “aggressive” push to implement AI in game development and further financial focus on “blockchain entertainment” and “the cloud.”

Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu released a lengthy letter on New Year’s Day discussing the past year, the rise of extended reality (that is, augmented and virtual reality), and the company’s direction going forward. Kiryu also mentioned AI, saying that while the generative technology carried negative connotations, the introduction of chatbot ChatGPT—alongside other software like deep-learning text-to-image generators DALL-E and Stable Diffusion—demonstrated “the potential not only to reshape what we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create, including programming.” You can probably guess where this is going. Kiryu wants the company to use more artificial intelligence in its games, expressing as much a little deeper in the letter.

“We also intend to be aggressive in applying AI and other cutting-edge technologies to both our content development and our publishing functions,” Kiryu said. “In the short term, our goal will be to enhance our development productivity and achieve greater sophistication in our marketing efforts. In the longer term, we hope to leverage those technologies to create new forms of content for consumers, as we believe that technological innovation represents business opportunities.”

Kiryu later expressed a continued interest in the decentralized currencies linked to the blockchain and the on-demand server infrastructure tied to cloud, saying that they will help establish new mechanisms to “diversify [the company’s] earning sources” to help adapt to a changing business environment while still creating high-quality content. Somehow, Kiryu believes, all of this will build a space where “each and every one of [Square Enix’s] employees” can fully showcase their creativity and individuality. Kiryu wants to commit so wholeheartedly to blockchain entertainment/Web 3.0, AI, and the cloud that he plans on “[modifying the company’s] organizational structure [to] optimize our resource allocations to support these efforts.”

Kotaku reached out to Square Enix for comment.

It’s not all that surprising seeing Square Enix’s plans to double down on AI and blockchain tech. The company was pretty clear about its stance on the controversial tech when it announced an NFT game last year that still seems to be happening and released an “AI-driven” game that was summarily dragged. I guess Kiryu is no different from former president Yosuke Matsuda who, prior to getting replaced in June 2023, expressed in a 2022’s New Year’s letter that AI, blockchain, and cloud technologies were target areas the company would focus on. So yeah, it’s more of the same in 2024.

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