Published on December 6, 2023, 9:21 am
Generative AI is gaining momentum and attracting significant investment, particularly in the gaming sector. One company making waves in this space is Titan AI, a mobile games studio that recently secured over $500,000 in pre-seed funding led by Berkeley SkyDeck. Joining a growing community of generative AI gaming startups, Titan AI aims to streamline and expedite the process of creating 2D and 3D content for games. Developing mobile games can be quite costly, with budgets often exceeding $250,000.
To create their graphics, Titan AI utilizes image generators like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E for 2D elements and combines them with proprietary technology to integrate 3D models. Additionally, the company is training their artificial intelligence to generate different difficulty levels for game segments—an arduous task that co-founder Fabien-Pierre Nicolas states requires substantial labor.
Nicolas teamed up with Victor Ceitelis, co-founder of Scenario—a generative AI startup enabling game developers to create custom image generators—to establish Titan AI. Their primary objective is to foster more inclusive experiences for players who are typically underrepresented in games. Nicolas shared that both he and Ceitelis recognized an opportunity to increase representation in the gaming industry as a fundamental aspect of modern entertainment culture—a mission close to their hearts because they create games for their loved ones, including Nicolas’s LGBTQ+ parent and Korean wife as well as Ceitelis’s LatinX heritage with Chilean parents.
Titan AI’s debut game called “Aztec Spirit Run” challenges the prevailing trend by featuring a main character racing against Conquistadores to defend the temple’s treasure. The studio has also launched three other prototypes named “KPop Dream Run,” “Reptile Dream Run,” and “Holy Bible Run: Jesus Miracles.” These titles follow the widely popular endless runner game format seen in Temple Run and Subway Surfers—making it a surefire choice for developers looking to dabble in generative AI. Titan AI has leveraged this technology to create hundreds of in-game customization elements such as outfits and tattoos for the characters. In subsequent updates, the company plans to introduce faster running speed and the collection of additional items like golden skulls.
Recognizing that underserved audiences value accessibility, Titan AI has made all their games free to play. The company generates revenue through in-app ads and paid features. Nicolas emphasizes that Titan AI’s funding success represents a story of hope and optimism amidst the current challenges within the gaming industry—a new studio raising funds with a positive mission for the world.
In addition to Berkeley SkyDeck, seven angel investors participated in Titan AI’s funding round, including Meta’s generative AI product leader Andreas Gross, BlackoutLab co-founder Benjamin De la Clémendière, Belka Games co-founder Yury Mazanik, and Duolingo’s chief business officer Bob Meese. This substantial support further underscores the potential and promise of generative AI in gaming.
As generative AI continues to evolve, possibilities abound within the gaming landscape. One exciting prospect is enabling players to design their own in-game avatars from scratch using this technology. Although runner games have proven addictive and may serve Titan AI well initially, some argue that it is an overused genre. However, with its proprietary AI capabilities and a commitment to innovation, Titan AI is poised to explore other game templates that leverage the power of generative AI.
The future looks bright for generative AI in gaming, as it holds immense potential for revolutionizing how games are created and experienced. Through its groundbreaking approach and dedication to inclusivity, Titan AI is at the forefront of this exciting frontier. We eagerly await their next creations—anxiously anticipating what else they have in store for gamers worldwide.