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Nintendo eschewing generative AI in favour of “decades of know-how”

Whilst acknowledging that game development has a “close relationship” with “AI-like technologies”, Nintendo says it is focused on “delivering value that is unique to Nintendo and cannot be created by technology alone”.

When asked by a shareholder to expand on “Nintendo’s initiatives using AI”, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said that although generative AI was undoubtedly a “big topic” across the games industry, he believed the company’s “decades of know-how” was more valuable than AI when it came to “creating the best gaming experiences for our players”.

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Furukawa also reflected on the issues of intellectual property rights, too.

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“In the game industry, AI-like technologies have long been used – for example, to control the movements of opponent characters – so I believe that game development and AI technology have always had a close relationship,” Furukawa told investors.

“Generative AI, which is becoming a big topic recently, can be used in creative ways, but we recognise that it may also raise issues with intellectual property rights. We have decades of know-how in creating the best gaming experiences for our players. While we are open to utilising technological developments, we will work to continue delivering value that is unique to Nintendo and cannot be created by technology alone.”

Embracer Group recently revealed plans to harness AI to “empower” its staff, saying artificial intelligence “has the capability to massively enhance game development by increasing resource efficiency”.

In its latest annual report, Embracer privacy and AI governance head Tomas Hedman stressed it would be a risk if the company didn’t use AI, as it would put the firm at a “competitive disadvantage [with] other industry players”.

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