Keywords tried making game with generative AI, failed

Keywords tried making game with generative AI, failed

Games services and software behemoth Keywords Studio tried to make a brand new project using only generative AI.

As revealed in the firm's full year results for 2023 – spotted by Game Developer – the company said that staff at Electirc Square Malta were testing AI's ability to assist in game development with a 2D title dubbed Project Ava. The outfit looked at over 400 tools to attempt to "augment" game development. Keywords emphasises that this was only a test and is not to be released to the public. 

The results, however, were far from promising. In fact, Keywords went as far as saying that though generative AI – as it currently stands – "may simplify or accelerate certain processes", it is "unable to replace talent".

"Whilst the project team started small, it identified over 400 tools, evaluating and utilising those with the best potential. Despite this, we ultimately utilised bench resource from seven different game development studios as part of the project, as the tooling was unable to replace talent," Keywords CEO Bertrand Bodson wrote.

"One of the key learnings was that whilst gen AI may simplify or accelerate certain processes, the best results and quality needed can only be achieved by experts in their field utilising gen AI as a new, powerful tool in their creative process. As a research project, the game will not be released to the public, but has been an excellent initiative to rapidly spread tangible learnings across the Group, provide insights to clients and it demonstrates the power and level of cross-studio collaboration that currently exists. Alongside Project Ava, the team is undertaking a range of gen AI R&D projects, including around 3D assets, to ensure that we are able to provide current insights in an ever-evolving part of the market."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.