How Blizzard is using AI to streamline video game development

Activision Blizzard introduces Blizzard Diffusion, an AI tool aimed at streamlining the game development process by generating concept art.

One of gaming's biggest giants, Activision Blizzard, is stepping up its creative process with the help of a controversial tool, Blizzard Diffusion.

AI remains a grey area, especially within the gaming community.

New York Times reports on Activision Blizzard's latest introduction in its creative process. This new tool will use the existing game assets like characters and environments, among others, from its popular titles such as Diablo, Warcraft, StarCraft, and Overwatch, to generate new images and concept art.

By doing this, Blizzard is expected to speed up game development, reducing common delays within the industry.

Blizzard’s chief design officer, Allen Adham, is said to have described the tool as a "major evolution".

Mind you, Blizzard Diffusion isn't just about speeding up artwork creation. This is a new AI tool that can help the company create better in-game NPCs, assist in designing procedural levels, coding games, voice cloning, and even address toxicity in multiplayer games. By using artificial intelligence, Blizzard plans to eliminate menial and repetitive tasks from the process, allowing developers to focus more on the creative side of things.

Blizzard's most recent move has sparked debates around the use of artificial intelligence and its implications. While some people raise concerns about potential copyright issues and the fear of job losses, others see the benefits of AI outweighing all the negatives. This is particularly so when talking about meeting demands. The timely release of games today, given the increasing costs, has become a hot topic.

Blizzard, much like Ubisoft, is simply leveraging the technology that's afforded to them by the times and using it to their advantage.

The overarching goal of this endeavor is to free creatives from doing mundane tasks, allowing them to devote more of their creative energy to artistic production and imaginative thinking.

As AI evolves, its influence on various fields will only continue to grow. It's important to consider the drawbacks, but we all shouldn't close our minds to the use of tools like Blizzard Diffusion as a way to improve the efficiency and productivity of individuals without taking away anything from them.

For now, it remains to be seen when Blizzard will implement the use of this new AI tool.

But, hey, if it means Blizzard has more resources to explore like, let's say, StarCraft again, we're all for it.

The best thing we can do for now is to support Activision Blizzard with its upcoming venture, Diablo 4, which is coming out on June 6 after several delays and multiple open beta tests. All the time spent in the lab has given Blizzard the confidence that things will go smoothly for the game when it launches.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.