Square Enix is implementing generative AI tools such as ChatGPT into its games, and Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth could be affected.
Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is among the most anticipated titles of 2024. The second entry into the FF7 Remake trilogy will see fans finally explore the game’s world instead of being locked in the industrial dystopia that is Midgar. It will also continue the canon-shattering plot of the first game and is set to diverge heavily from the original.
This has intrigued many fans to see how their favorite JRPG will be changed in modern times. That said, Square Enix may have some plans for Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth that won’t be very popular.
Will Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth written by AI?
There is no official confirmation that AI was used to write Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth.
Even so, that may not be the case for long. In a New Year’s letter from Square Enix CEO Takeshi Kiryu on Square Enix’s corporate page, he touches on how impressed he is with the capabilities of generative AI. Kiryu talked up the potential of AI and suggested that AI will be a big part of Square Enix’s development pipeline moving forward.
“[ChatGPT’s] release…expanded generative AI into a variety of domains with close ties to digital entertainment, including images, video, and music. I believe that generative AI has the potential not only to reshape what we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create,” Kiryu said in a statement.
The statement immediately irked Final Fantasy fans. ChatGPT and similar AI tools are often criticized for their plagiarism and poor output. Rather than creating anything original, generative AI combines and repackages existing works published on the internet without credit or reward for the people who actually created the content. Despite the ethical and academic concerns, or the fact that no creative work of any kind that was created by AI has garnered critical or commercial success and quality is often dubious, a large portion of the entertainment industry from gaming giants like Take-Two Interactive to Hollywood has pegged it as the future.
If Square Enix mandates that AI be used to rewrite one of the most iconic games of all time, there’s no telling what that could look like. Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth almost certainly wasn’t written by AI, given how close the game is to release. That may not be the case if the game receives DLC, or for the final installment of the trilogy.
Square Enix’s financial struggles continue
Square Enix had one of its worst financial years in 2023, losing $2 billion of market value.
Although Final Fantasy 16 had “strong sales” according to Square Enix, it seems the entry wasn’t able to buoy Square Enix on its own. The company has indicated plans to consolidate more of its effort into its major IPs in hopes of turning things around.
The plans to bet on AI come after several attempts to piggyback on gaming trends. The critical and commercial flop of the live-service game Marvel’s Avengers was a major commercial. Square Enix’s controversial NFT game Symbiogenesis is approaching release and the company continued investing in NFTs months after the industry cratered.
Square Enix isn’t alone in pinning its hopes on AI, with major players like Xbox doing the same. All of them are betting big that AI is an affordable substitute for human creativity, even before it’s been proven.