Take-Two boss says AI’s role in game development will be limited

"Genius is the domain of human beings and I believe will stay that way"

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has claimed that although he remains “enthusiastic” by the prospect of AI, it will not be able to replicate the “genius” of human game developers.

While fielding questions from investors, Zelnick was asked how Take-Two — the publisher behind the likes of Grand Theft Auto, Borderlands and Civilization — plans to utilise artificial intelligence within game development.

Although Zelnick described the publisher as a “leader in [AI space]” and said he was “pretty enthusiastic” about the technology, he views AI as serving a limited function (via PC Gamer).


“While the most recent developments in AI are surprising and exciting to many, they’re exciting to us but not at all surprising,” shared Zelnick. “Our view is that AI will allow us to do a better job and to do a more efficient job, you’re talking about tools and they are simply better and more effective tools.”

Zelnick explained that in this capacity, AI will make creating games “a whole lot easier and more efficient” for developers. However, the CEO predicts that developers won’t be stepping aside to let AI make games for them any time soon.

GTA 4. Credit: Rockstar.
GTA 4. Credit: Rockstar.

“I wish I could say that the advances in AI will make it easier to create hits, obviously it won’t,” said Zelnick. “Hits are created by genius. And data sets, plus compute, plus large language models does not equal genius. Genius is the domain of human beings and I believe will stay that way.”

Zelnick’s opinion is in line with recent comments from Shuhei Yoshida, the former president of Sony Interactive Entertainment and current head of its Independent Developer Initiative.

In April, Yoshida said that AI will assist in creating “more beautiful things,” but described the technology as a “tool” for developers to use.


However, AI’s role in gaming remains controversial due to concerns that the technology will be used to replace the jobs of real people.

Last year, Squanch Games‘ shooter High On Life was criticised for using AI art generation software to create artwork for the game (via Forbes), while veteran voice actor Troy Baker backtracked on partnering with a company that used AI to create NFTs of actors’ voices.

Recently, Prime Matter defended its decision to use AI to generate artwork of SHODAN, the AI villain of its upcoming System Shock remake.

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