(Los Angeles) The integration of generative artificial intelligence (AI) into the world of video games could profoundly transform the player experience, but the cost of this technology could be a “problem”, said Monday with AFP the boss and co-founder of Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot.

“Generative AI will make it possible to have more interactive and lively open worlds, taking our games to another level in possible interactions,” he admitted, “but the problem I see is its cost. […] This will only be possible if it can be done at a reasonable cost.”

The executive was speaking at the Ubisoft Forward conference, organized in Los Angeles, during which the video game publisher presented its latest creations, including the highly anticipated Star Wars Outlaws and the latest opus from his Assassin’s Creed series, Shadow.

A particularly lucrative series for the French publisher, whose latest title, Mirage, which took it back to its sources and to the Abbasid empire, had exceeded five million copies sold at the start of the year.

A success which compensates for the relative failure of another title, Skull and Bones, for which the publisher has still not announced sales figures.

For Yves Guillemot, AI can be one of the elements that would bring the industry into new territories, especially since the latter has “not experienced any huge innovation” in recent years.

“We need AI, we need the cloud, in order to have the possibility of bringing new experiences” to players, he assured.

But to make this possible, we need to move beyond the “computing cost” issue needed to run AI or cloud servers.

For Mr. Guillemot, one of the solutions would be to see consoles integrate chips capable of “managing part of the necessary power, so that it does not cost too much. We are going to move towards a mix between consoles and personal computers on one side, remote servers on the other.

“If we succeed in integrating AI at a reasonable cost, this can make this industry even more interesting, make players want to return to the world of games”, to live evolving experiences, “but the cost is my main fear at the moment,” insisted Mr. Guillemot.

In this regard, the boss of Ubisoft will follow with interest the announcements of the American giant Apple, whose conference began a little earlier today, and whose announcements, particularly in terms of generative AI, are eagerly awaited, after a slower start than its competitors on this technology.

“I hope they will say that they can have some of the power on their devices, that would mean more possibilities for our games,” noted Yves Guillemot.

“There is great potential ahead, and a huge opportunity to innovate in our industry. The other aspect will be how their new chips will integrate into the Apple environment, with iPhones, iPads, Macs, virtual reality. Having the same ones everywhere would allow us to create these games that can run on all these machines at the same time,” he hopes.

In the meantime, Ubisoft expects a lot from Star Wars Outlaws and Assassin’s Creed Shadow, after a delayed 2023-2024 financial year which saw it return to profit.

But Mr. Guillemot also believes a lot in XDefiant, his first-person shooter (FPS) game which allows you to play by joining factions inspired by other games from the publisher, the Tom Clancy’s, Far Cry and Watch Dogs franchises. .

The game, free to access, was launched at the end of May and is already a success, assures Mr. Guillemot: “ten million players joined in the first week”.

“People like this possibility to play differently, to visit the different universes of Ubisoft and maybe others too. It’s a different approach and I think it’s very interesting. And it’s long term,” he stressed.