We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Tomb Raider owner Embracer thinks AI will “empower” devs but few agree

The Embracer group is one of many gaming conglomerates that has shut studios for poor game sales, but apparently it thinks AI is the answer.

Embracer wants AI to empower game developers

AI in gaming is a hot topic right now with AMD’s new AI CPUs about to release and AI-enhanced upscaling software being an ever more common feature for getting the best performance on PC. Now, the Embracer Group believes that AI will also aid general game development, and it’s vague plans aren’t being received well.

Even if you have the best graphics card, the chances are you will still use an AI-based upscaling software like Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR to improve your frame rates. What Embracer is proposing, however, is a broader use of AI to impact not just game optimization, but also “increase resource efficiency”.

The comments on the use of AI come via page 39 of the Embracer annual report labeled “A human-centric approach to AI in games”. It’s here that the most haunting comment is made: “We do not want to replace people with AI, we want to empower them”.

This line would probably work if not for the seemingly endless string of layoffs in the industry, including the recent closure of Pieces Interactive, the developer behind Alone in the Dark that was also part of the Embracer Group and was closed as the game didn’t meet sales expectations. Industry surveys from earlier this year also show that many are worried about the impact of AI.

I am very keen to see how AI can genuinely improve game development and the performance of games on all levels of PC systems, but AI itself is being somewhat used as little more than a buzzword. The creation, development, and rollout of AI software like DLSS, FSR, and frame generation was well documented and had a clear positive effect when released, and we’ve been impressed by development of AI-enhanced NPCs, but beyond that, there appears to be no other AI tech that we are currently aware of that can mirror these successes.

Regardless, Embracer sees the non-adoption of AI as a weakness and a “major risk” when so many other businesses are in the process of adopting AI practices into their daily workflow.

You can read more about major game studio closures from this year by reading our story covering the shut down of Microsoft-owned studios Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks.