Game developers have ‘a real hunger’ for generative AI, says EA CEO

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has claimed more than 50% of EA's development processes will be impacted by AI.
ea sports fc 24

In a recent investor call, EA CEO Andrew Wilson has doubled down on a commitment to integrating generative AI in the company’s game development processes. According to Wilson, the technology is set to reshape how EA makes games, with “more than 50% of [its] development processes” likely to be “positively impacted by the advances in generative AI.”

While Wilson has acknowledged the AI revolution is still “very early” in its development, he believes that over the next five years, there will be greater efficiencies and better integration found.

“If efficiency starts to really take place over the next 1-3 years, our expectation is that, over a 3- to 5-year time horizon, we will be able to, as part of our massive online communities and blockbuster storytelling, build bigger, more immersive worlds that engage more players uniquely around the world,” Wilson said in the investor call, as transcribed by VGC. “And we think about that on a 3- to 5-year time horizon.”

As an example of how AI would change EA’s processes, Wilson pointed to EA Sports FC 24 and its integration of over 1,200 run cycle animations, aided by generative AI. The previous game in the series, FIFA 23, had only 36 run cycles.

Read: EA CEO says generative AI will improve developer efficiency and game monetisation

“As we think about the first pillar of generative AI for us, we’re really looking at how can it make us more efficient, how can it give our developers more power, how can it give them back more time and allow them to get to the fun more quickly,” Wilson said.

He also pointed to the history of AI in game development, stating “it has been the very centre of all of the games that we create, replicating human intelligence in the context of a game play experience.” Wilson sees generative AI as the next step in this process, with the technology able to produce art, words, and other content to pave over the more menial tasks of game development.

Wilson sees AI as a potential disruptor in the field, with the potential to change the medium “in much the way YouTube did for traditional film and television.” He believes there’s “a real hunger amongst [the company’s] developers to get to this as quickly as possible” as “the holy grail” is “to build bigger, more innovative, more creative, more fun games more quickly so that we can entertain more people around the world on a global basis at a faster rate.”

It appears EA will work towards this goal over the coming years, strengthening its commitment to using generative AI in the game development process – for now, as an “enhancement” rather than a replacement for talented staff.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.