"We are on the brink of a major evolution in how we build and manage our games," stated the studio's Chief Design Officer.
According to recent reports, it has come to light that Blizzard has developed its own AI system capable of generating images from text. The main purpose behind this development is to accelerate the production process and create concept art for their intellectual properties.
As noticed by The New York Times, Blizzard employees allegedly received an email earlier this year from Allen Adham, the Chief Design Officer of the company. In his message, Adham unveiled Blizzard Diffusion, a proprietary artificial intelligence platform trained on Blizzard's own titles.
It is reported that this tool is being utilized "to help generate concept art for game environments as well as characters and their outfits". Adham also mentioned the potential use of AI for various other applications such as "autonomous, intelligent, in-game NPCs," "procedurally assisted level design" and AI-assisted "voice cloning," "game coding" and "anti-toxicity".
"Prepare to be amazed," Adham wrote in the email. "We are on the brink of a major evolution in how we build and manage our games."
The NYT also reports that Blizzard's workforce also allegedly received a separate email from the company's Chief Technical Officer, Michael Vance, who warned the studio's workers not to utilize the company's intellectual property with external image generators.
"These new tools come with new and unknown risks, and we will proceed carefully to avoid pitfalls," noted Vance.
If true, Activision Blizzard would join the ranks of multiple other AAA game development studios who introduced AI into their workflows. One other notable example is Ubisoft, which recently disclosed that its "creators and developers of all levels" are actively exploring AI technology. Additionally, Ubisoft garnered attention earlier when it introduced Ghostwriter, an AI tool designed to aid its writers in crafting dialogue for NPCs within games.
Not all big-league studios are hopping on the AI bandwagon, however. The CEO of Take-Two Strauss Zelnick, for example, recently noted that he doesn't believe that advancements in AI will simplify the process of creating successful hits, saying that "hits are created by genius" and "genius is the domain of human beings".