Embracer Group: Despite Risks – Game Publishers Increase the Use of AI

23 June 2024 at 22:00 in Deals, Gaming News with no comments
Embracer Group: Despite Risks - Game Publishers Increase the Use of AI

If we have already talked about the movements and restructurings within Embracer Group, the giant in the video game industry, there is no shortage of further news. In fact, with the financial report released on 20 June 2024. A report that shows Embracer’s activity through its studios, but also projects for the future. Projects that seem to leverage the power of Artificial Intelligence.

Embracer Group Bets Everything on AI – AI with Humans at the Center

If we discussed the restructuring of Embracer Group into 3 Groups in the April article, with even more recent news of famous video game studios being closed, there is further news about it. In the recent Financial Report for 2023-2024, Embracer Group presents the year’s report. Talking on one hand about the success and potential of the various studios still standing, such as: THQ Nordic, PLAION, Coffee Stain, Crystal Dynamics-Eidos, Dark Horse Media, and many others. For a total of well over 900 franchises in the giant’s hands, with 106 development studios spread across more than 40 countries. A significant portion of the report also touches on the restructuring of the Group into 3 gaming giants based on the type of genre and quality of the games.

Embracer Group Report, page dedicated to AI

In the same report, a whole section is also dedicated to AI. From the wide adoption of AI through the “Group AI Policy,” in which Embracer is studying and implementing the use of AI in the game development phase. This is also thanks to the capital coming in from the sale of Saber Interactive and Gearbox, a sale amounting to about 700 million dollars, with less than half going to pay off the debt of about 1.5 billion that they have accumulated so far. An AI that, according to Embracer, will always have humans at its center and will be seen as a powerful tool at their disposal and which will play an even more important role in the future. And as stated by Tomas Hedman, Head of Privacy & AI Governance, not leveraging on AI is going to be one of the biggest risks for the company in the near future.

The Risks, Criticisms, and Impact of Artificial Intelligence on the Future of Games

A statement certainly valid from a financial perspective, but also quite questionable given that with the recent restructuring, several significant video game studios have been shut down. An AI that should have humans at its center, but instead saw the company laying off over 1500 staff members, well over 10% of the total staff. If the financial report is, as it is now clear, mainly aimed at reassuring investors and attracting new ones, AI certainly represents a very strong word in the financial market. But in the gaming world, especially in recent years, the use of generative AI has often been subject to strong criticism, especially from gamers. The main cause is the fear that many talents in the artistic field will be replaced with AI models trained for tasks not only audio and visual but also narrative scripting. And certain statements from the group do not reassure on that front, talking about an AI that will be used in the creative process of games, with “correction” of inconsistencies and errors in the script, and obviously in visual development and quality control.

Although Embracer talks about the future as a “win-win” situation for development and gamers, the latter are not very happy to hear these ideas in the face of mass layoffs, liquidations, and development studios being closed. Especially linked to the lack of suitable regulations to maintain a balance between the human impact and the artificial impact of products created with AI. With the fear of seeing more generic, poor-quality products with plagiarized content, even more than we have unfortunately seen in recent years from AAA and even AA studios. Therefore, we will have to closely watch how the situation evolves within Embracer Group and the video games the group will produce in the coming years.


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By whizzerlow whizzerlow