Image: Damien McFerran / Nintendo Life

Update #2 [Fri 5th Jul, 2024 10:15 BST]:

Here's the official translation from Nintendo:

"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. Generative AI, which is becoming a big topic recently, can be used in creative ways, but we recognize 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 utilizing technological developments, we will work to continue delivering value that is unique to Nintendo and cannot be created by technology alone."

Update #1 [Thu 4th Jul, 2024 12:00 BST]:

A new translation from Automaton seems to be a more accurate representation of what Furukawa said about generative AI. It's not drastically different from the previous version, but it should be noted that he did not outright deny the potential use of AI in the future. Nintendo remains open to new technological advances, but he nevertheless acknowledges the issues surrounding copyright laws.

“The game industry has been using AI-like technology for enemy character behavior and the like for a long time, which is why I think game development and AI have a close relationship to begin with. The generative AI that’s become prominent recently can do even more creative things, but it is also problematic in terms of intellectual property rights.

Over decades, we have accumulated know-how in crafting the optimal gaming experience for our audiences. While remaining flexible with regard to technological developments, we intend to continue to deliver the kind of qualities unique to Nintendo, which cannot be created by technology alone.”

Original Article [Wed 3rd Jul, 2024 18:00 BST]:

It's no secret that AI, and specifically generative AI, has become more and more prevalent in recent years, but if you're concerned about Nintendo utilising the technology in its game development, then you can put those fears to rest... at least for now.

During the company's recent annual shareholder meeting, president Shuntaro Furukawa was specifically asked about Nintendo's interest in applying AI to its game development. Furukawa acknowledged AI's benefits but seemingly confirmed that Nintendo would not be pursuing the technology for the time being, citing potential issues with intellectual property rights (a topic the firm is infamously strict about).

Here's what he said:

"In the game industry, AI-like technology has long been used to control enemy character movements, so game development and AI technology have always been closely related. Generative AI, which has been a hot topic in recent years, can be more creative, but we also recognize that it has issues with intellectual property rights.

"We have decades of know-how in creating optimal gaming experiences for our customers, and while we remain flexible in responding to technological developments, we hope to continue to deliver value that is unique to us and cannot be achieved through technology alone."

So there you have it! It sounds like Nintendo is keen to continue creating bespoke products for the foreseeable future. We can't say we're especially surprised given the company's ongoing success with the Switch, but other major publishers, such as Ubisoft and EA, have taken a more relaxed approach to AI technology and have actively begun to implement it into their development processes.

Are you happy that Nintendo is keeping away from generative AI for the time being? Share your thoughts on the matter with a comment down below.

[source nintendo.co.jp, via gameworldobserver.com]