Unlike competitors, Nintendo is not planning to use generative AI in games

Due to possible intellectual property rights issues, Nintendo is cautious about using generative AI.

With the tech world riding the wave of generative AI, it’s quite rare to find a company that isn’t planning to integrate the technology in one of its core business areas.

But that’s precisely the message that Nintendo’s president, Shuntaro Furukawa, has conveyed to investors.

“In the game industry, AI-like technology has long been used to control enemy character movements, so game development and AI technology have always been closely related.

Generative AI, which has been a hot topic in recent years, can be more creative, but we also recognize that it has issues with intellectual property rights,” Furukawa said, according to Tweaktown.

“We have decades of know-how in creating optimal gaming experiences for our customers, and while we remain flexible in responding to technological developments, we hope to continue to deliver value that is unique to us and cannot be achieved through technology alone,” the president continued.

This stance is different from that of other game creators like Xbox and Electronic Arts (EA), which seem eager to embrace the new technology. For example, Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, said in May that more than 50% of their development processes will be positively impacted by the advances in generative AI.

Generative AI has mixed reactions in the gaming industry. On one hand, it can minimize the cost of creating games and speed up the process.

However, many developers fear generative AI may also contribute to layoffs. In 2023 and 2024, thousands of people were laid off from the gaming industry.

While reasons for layoffs may vary, one of the underlying ones is the growing cost of creating games.

Before the pandemic, a typical AAA game generally had a $50 to $150 million budget. However, as technology advances and players have come to expect more cinematic experiences, the cost has reached $200 billion or more, according to data from the UK’s competition and markets authority published by Fast Company.