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Electronics Arts CEO Andrew Wilson was one of the guests at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. He seized the opportunity to highlight the positive impact he believes generative AI will have on the company’s production process and revenue in the next five years.

EA Believes Generative AI Will Positively Impact 60% Of Development Process And Boost Revenue By 20%

Electronics Arts CEO Andrew Wilson

Speaking at the Conference, Wilson described the era of generative AI as “incredibly exciting” and said his company was deeply embracing the technology. In terms of how Electronic Arts intends to use generative AI, Wilson said there were three pillars to it namely transformation, expansion, and efficiency.

EA has made headlines in recent weeks for the wrong reasons. From project cancellations to the shutting down of teams, Wilson’s comment at the conference will likely earn the company a new wave of attacks—especially from those who believe AI is responsible for the mass layoffs in the industry.

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In terms of efficiency, Wilson said that game development is “incredibly time-consuming”, stretching between six and seven years because the company’s business involves an “incredibly iterative development cycle” where, in addition to triggering a desired effect, pushing a button is made to be fun.

EA boss gave examples of the positive impact of AI in game development

EA Believes Generative AI Will Positively Impact 60% Of Development Process And Boost Revenue By 20%

The EA boss said a feasibility study has shown that 60% of the company’s development process has “high potential to be positively impacted by generative AI” as reported by Techraptor. Giving specific examples of how generative AI could impact the game development process, Wilson said that it previously took up to six months to build an in-game sports stadium but that in the past year, it took just six weeks. He believes that time will likely be shortened to days in the coming years.

“While we don’t have the math on it yet, I would tell you in the back of my mind my orientation is ‘how can we use generative AI to make us 30% more efficient as a company? How in three years from today could we be 30% more efficient?’” Wilson said.

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Wilson further argued that AI is not only beneficial to developers but will also positively impact the experience of players. For example, he said FIFA 23 has 12 run cycles for players (referring to how players run in the game). However, thanks to generative AI, EA Sports FC 24 has 1,200 run cycles.

“I would tell you, part of that is how do we get our people to embrace it and for creators of games, this is incredibly exciting: the ability to get to the fun faster and get to market faster is the Holy Grail for them,” said the EA boss while alleging that the company’s developers have embraced the new technology.

EA Believes Generative AI Will Positively Impact 60% Of Development Process And Boost Revenue By 20%

Wilson alleged that making games deeper, bigger, or more immersive helps to attract more people to the game. Therefore, he hinted at the possibility of using personalization, culturalization, and deeper, more immersive experiences to attract 50% more players and make them spend 10% to 20% more on games.

“So, the math that we’re doing right now is we have 700 million people in our network. We think it’s not unreasonable to at least get 50% more people as a result of personalization, culturalization, deeper, more immersive experiences,” Wilson said.

“We’re watching right now how generative AI impacts monetization on other platforms, and what we’re seeing is where there is real personalized content, bespoke to me and bespoke to my friends, monetization is 10 to 20% greater.”

Wilson believes the positive impact of generative AI will be evident in as early as 5 years

EA Believes Generative AI Will Positively Impact 60% Of Development Process And Boost Revenue By 20%

The EA boss believes that over a period of 5 years, the company’s efficiency would have jumped by 30%. He said that “by the virtue of the nature of the content that we can create through generative AI—which will be created faster and more personal to every player—then there’s 10 to 20% more monetization opportunity to us on an ARPU level”.

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“What we’ve seen every time there’s been a meaningful technological advancement in media and in technology, where you are able to democratize an industry and hand it over to the population at large, incredible things happen.”

 

“So, the way we think about this is how do we build these things to be more efficient? How do we build these things to allow us to build deeper, broader, more deep, more personal experiences? And then how do we give that to the world.”

 

“Once you give that to the world where you have 3 billion players around the world creating personal content and expanding and enhancing the universes that we create, and building and creating their own universe on our technology platform, all of a sudden we are the beneficiaries of platform economics.”

 

“For me, that’s a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for us in addition to what we would otherwise get from our regular growth.”

Although Wilson admitted that generative AI was in its early days, he said EA as a business was built on AI and that the company is “more excited than they’ve ever been,” now that generative AI is here.

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