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Take-Two CEO Says AI Will Make The Game Creation Process Easier But ‘It’s Not Magic’

Strauss Zelnick says, ‘Genius is in the domain of human beings, and I believe we’ll stay that way’

Since the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT last year, Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained tremendous attention across various creative industries, including video games.

In a recent earnings call, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick was asked about the impact of AI and how he sees the nascent technology influencing the business and the industry.

Zelnick responded, “I’m usually a sceptic when others engage in hyperbole. In the case of AI, I’m pretty enthusiastic. Our view is that AI will allow us to do a better job and to do a more efficient job. When you’re talking about tools and they are simply better and more effective tools.

“I wish I could say that the advances in AI will make it easier to create hits. Obviously, it won’t. Hits are created by genius and datasets… Compute, plus large language models do not equal genius. Genius is in the domain of human beings, and I believe we’ll stay that way,” added Zelnick.

The CEO went on to add that he believes jobs can be made a whole lot easier and more efficient by developments in AI and that the company is looking forward to that.

AI can’t create hit mobile games

During the same earnings call, the CEO was asked how he thinks AI will impact the mobile games industry especially when there’s a surge in the number of mobile developers that utilise AI to create games.

“I think the implication of your question is does generative AI allow people who aren’t in the business to make mobile hits by say, ChatGPT? I come up with a great idea for a new mobile hit. Oh, and by the way, please code it for me, too. And while you can do that now, you should give it a try and you’ll see what happens because we certainly have tried it around here,” said Zelnick.

The CEO believes that AI users will not be able to create mobile game ‘hits’ that way. “What you’re looking at with AI – and what you will always be looking at – is a data set compute and at least sitting here today, large language models. And in the future, you may not be looking at large language models or they will change, but you’ll still be looking at a data set and compute. And a data set by definition, is backward-looking, and hits in the entertainment business, by definition, are forward-looking,” added Zelnick.

“A machine is a machine is not going to be able to look forward.”

The game creation process will be easier

“We’re all super excited about what we see because we haven’t seen before the possibility of doing a natural language query and getting a natural language result. But to confuse that result with intelligence and creativity is like confusing a magic trick with magic. It’s not magic. It’s still a magic trick. So, that’s where I’m at on this.”

Zelnick adds that, “No AI is not going to allow people to push a button to make a hit,” but will make certain elements of any coding process easier for everyone.

This isn’t the first time Zelnick has come out to discuss the impact of AI and in a previous conversation with IGN, the CEO has said that generative AI cannot create a GTA rival.

“It’s not going to allow someone to say, ‘Please develop the competitor to Grand Theft Auto that’s better than Grand Theft Auto’, and then they just send it out and ship it digitally and that will be that. People will try, but that won’t happen,” Zelnick said.

AI might be years away from attempting to create AAA titles such as Grand Theft Auto and The Last of Us, but OpenAI’s GPT-4 is already creating games for users.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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