EA CEO Highlights Developer ‘Hunger’ to Use AI for Faster Game Development

During EA’s Q4 FY24 Q&A session, CEO Andrew Wilson, shed light on the revolutionary impact AI is having on their game development process. The session provided a glimpse into how AI is not only speeding up the creation of game elements but also enhancing the realism and depth of gaming experiences.

One of the standout points from Wilson’s discussion was the significant reduction in time required to build game environments, such as stadiums. Wilson shared, “We’ve moved from being able to create stadiums from six months to six weeks.” This dramatic decrease in development time marks a major leap forward, allowing EA to roll out new game settings much faster than ever before.

Beyond speeding up development, AI is playing a crucial role in making game characters move and behave more realistically. In the transition from FIFA 23 to EA Sports FC 24, the number of unique player movements, or run cycles, increased exponentially. Wilson noted, “In FIFA 23, we had 36 run cycles… When we launched FC 24, we had 1,200 run cycles.” This advancement means players in the game mimic human motion more precisely, greatly enhancing the authenticity of the gameplay.

EA’s CEO also highlighted that AI will greatly impact the game development process: “We’ve done analysis across all of our development processes. And right now, based on our early assessment, we believe that more than 50% of our development processes will be positively impacted by the advances in generative AI.”

Wilson is enthusiastic about the future possibilities AI holds for expanding game worlds. He anticipates that in the next few years, AI will enable the creation of more expansive and immersive environments. He explained, “Our expectation is that over a three- to five-year time horizon, we will be able to build bigger, more immersive worlds that engage more players uniquely around the world.”

Looking further ahead, EA is considering how to leverage their AI advancements to empower the broader gaming community. Wilson likened the potential impact to the transformation YouTube brought to video content creation, suggesting a future where EA might share their AI tools with others to inspire new and innovative gaming experiences.

A significant advantage for EA is their vast data reservoir from 40 years of game development. This data is crucial for training AI models, which could accelerate the pace of innovation, making the company’s ambitious goals more attainable. Wilson expressed a sense of urgency and excitement among the developers, emphasizing, “The holy grail for us 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.”

EA recently reported a total net revenue of $7.562 billion for FY24, marking a 2% year-over-year increase. For FY25, EA projects their net bookings to reach between $7.3 billion and $7.7 billion, and the use of AI might drastically contribute to those numbers.

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