Nintendo says it doesn't need generative AI to make games because it has "decades of know-how" and doesn't want any "issues with intellectual property rights"

Metroid Prime 4: Beyond
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo's president has shied away from using generative AI for game development, in part because it risks "issues with intellectual property rights."

Speaking during a Nintendo shareholder Q&A earlier this week (via Tweak Town), company president Shuntaro Furukawa was asked about utilizing AI in game development: "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," Furukawa began.

"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," the Nintendo president continued. "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."

This actually sounds remarkably similar to Sony's recent stance on generative AI on topics like game development and human creation. Speaking during a presentation last month, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida acknowledged that although AI "has been used for creation," it is "not a substitute for human creativity." Yoshida added that Sony positions AI "as a technology that supports creativity."

This isn't Nintendo or Sony entirely steering clear of using AI in game development. As Furukawa points out, AI is already utilized in the game development process, but as a specific program to run an individual part of a game like enemy movements and attacks, rather than actually generative parts of a game entirely from scratch, such as concept or character art.

Elsewhere, other companies have leaned further into generative AI than both Sony and Nintendo. Ubisoft president Yves Guillemot, for example, stated last month that he expected a lot from generative AI in Ubisoft's games, believing AI would make in-game worlds feel "more alive and richer." EA CEO Andrew Wilson estimated that more than 50% of EA's game development process would be impacted by AI.

Look over our upcoming Switch games guide for an overview of all the titles Nintendo currently has in the pipeline.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.