Shuhei Yoshida, former president of SIE Worldwide and PlayStation boss, has some pretty optimistic views on how AI can be a viable tool in the future of game development.
In a recent interview with The Guardian (via IGN), Yoshida shared his thoughts on AI and game development while speaking about his tenure at Sony. The Bafta Fellowship Award winner said, "It’s the talent, not the technology or the business model, that defines its future."
Yoshida mentions in the interview that he recently went through 15 pitches for an indie game competition and was impressed by one of the entries with "amazing beautiful graphics made by a small team of students" that used Midjourney to help with the artwork.
"That is powerful, that a small number of young people can create an amazing looking game," Yoshida said. "In the future, AI could develop interesting animations, behaviours, even do debug for your program.”
When asked if he was concerned about AI replacing artists, musicians, and coders, or devaluing their work, Shuhei replied in very simple terms: "It is a tool. Someone has to use that tool." AI can produce "very strange things," he continued, saying you "have to be able to use the tool well." He sees AI tools as a way to reduce costs while making game development more accessible to more people with less technical know-how.
"In the end, the development will be more efficient, and more beautiful things will be made by people," Yoshida stated. "People might not even need to learn programming anymore, if they have learned how to use these tools of the future."
As helpful as AI tools can be, he added, "creativity is more important, the direction, how you envision what you want.”
We have already seen a few examples of how some game devs use AI tools like Midjourney and Stable Diffusion to create a tech demo for a point-and-click adventure game, for instance, or generate NPC dialogue in a text-based adventure game. AI tools clearly aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so it's interesting to get the perspective of gaming industry veterans who feel that AI has a place in game development as long as the creativity is still there.