Published on April 2, 2024, 9:32 am

Blizzard Entertainment Clarifies Ai Usage In ‘World Of Warcraft’ Amid Gaming Industry Excitement

Franchise director John Hight of “World of Warcraft” clarified that Blizzard Entertainment is not employing generative AI in their massively multiplayer online game (MMO). In a recent interview with IGN at the Game Developers Conference 2024, Hight emphasized the excitement surrounding AI in the gaming industry, particularly machine learning. While studios have been utilizing machine learning to simplify tasks for developers, generative AI isn’t in use for “World of Warcraft.”

Within the game, machine learning aids in fitting armor onto character models, eliminating the need for manual adjustment by developers. This process saves time and streamlines the creation of armor pieces tailored to various body shapes like horns, snouts, and tails. Hight mentioned that previously artists had to laboriously design armor for different body types which was not enjoyable for them.

The team embraced machine learning to tackle tasks that are challenging or time-consuming for humans. By leveraging this technology, they managed to automate 90% of the work involved, enabling artists to focus on refining and enhancing designs. This approach has allowed them to produce a wider variety of armor sets efficiently and has been well-received by the artistic team.

Moreover, NPC AI witnessed significant enhancements, supporting areas like Exile’s Reach within the MMO. The team is utilizing these advancements to develop a new feature called Delves for the upcoming expansion “The War Within.” Even though Blizzard is exploring innovative applications of AI technology in their projects, generative AI remains excluded from their current practices as confirmed by Hight.

Drawing inspiration from his family background—his father an aeronautical engineer and his mother a fine artist—Hight appreciates the nuances of creativity. He acknowledged concerns from artists about potential job displacement due to AI deployment but ensured that Blizzard respects artists’ rights and gives credit where it’s due.

Despite ongoing discussions about technology’s role in creative processes and rights issues surrounding its use, Blizzard affirms that generative AI is not integrated into “WoW.”

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