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Activision Boss Bobby Kotick Hyped About AI, Suggests It Could Be Used In A New Guitar Hero


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman

The over 30-year veteran of the Call of Duty publisher was asked during a company-wide meeting last week what role he thought AI would play at Activision Blizzard and in the larger video game field moving forward. It’s a question lots of people are asking as AI-generated stories become a flashpoint in the Hollywood writers’ strike and Google unveils new AI tools that could completely revamp how people navigate the internet.

“I’ve known Sam Weltman and the folks who are working at OpenAI for a long time,” Kotick told staff, based on a recording of the remarks shared with Kotaku. “I don’t know how much people realize that a lot of modern day AI including ChatGPT started with the idea of beating a game, whether it was Warcraft or Dota or Starcraft or Go or Chess. But what is now these large language learning model AI technologies, all started from this idea of beating a game.”

He continued:

And I think one of the things that I’ve experienced over the last year is that same feeling that I had when I saw that first MacIntosh, about how meaningful the impact of AI would be on society both positive and negative. But for what we do, I think it will have a profound positive impact on the things we’ll be able to do in game development for our players. It will enable us to do things that we haven’t been able to do for a long time.
You know if you take an example of a thing like Guitar Hero, I’ve always had this vision for what a new Guitar Hero product could be but without having AI and then the processors embedded either in phones, in computers, or in game consoles that allow you to actually have the speed of processing to enable that AI, we’ve never been in a place where AI is going to have practical reality and applicability for games until now. And I think when you look out over the next five or seven years, the impact in game making is going to be extraordinary.

It’s not clear what exactly Kotick has been daydreaming about when it comes to using AI to reboot Guitar Hero. The storied rhythm-based franchise was a hit for years until it eventually imploded under the weight of rapid release schedules and too many peripherals. Maybe a new Guitar Hero would let players generate their own songs based on popular artists styles and voices, or let them jam alongside iconic musicians on the fly. It could be intriguing, and a licensing nightmare.

Kotick added that he thinks AI tools will help make games more accessible and improve how players learn about them. “If you look at games like Call of Duty we have people playing a fraction of what they can play because there’s a lot there and it’s complex to learn,” Kotick said.


Or, how about having one of the many people who make amazing maps for the community brought in and paid to do good work instead of having AI shit out some half-ass unfun maps?


Or, how about having one of the many people who make amazing maps for the community brought in and paid to do good work instead of having AI shit out some half-ass unfun maps?
Epic used procedural generation for the matrix demo to create the city, then artists had to go in and tidy it up a bit and do all the stuff for the cinematic part. Hopefully AI ends up being used to create stuff quickly like telling the AI I want a map, in the snow with 4 major buildings in each corner, 2 1 story, 2 3 story blah blah then artists go in and fix it all up leading to increased content creation speed without people losing their jobs and gamers getting more content. That's how I hope it goes at least for a good while, although pricks like kotick will fire the artists anyway and ship broken maps then blame the AI lol.


I honestly can't think of a more useless human being than someone like him. Even hobos are more productive because at least they will go around picking up beer cans from the street but what the hell does Kotick do besides hoarding and sleeping on wealth like the fat, wrinkly, and weak version of Smaug that he is?
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We all hate that dude but you gotta admit he is making a ton of money for the company which makes him a great CEO, that is what that job is by the way, a ruthless asshole who is stepping on everyone to make a buck
In the traditional view, yes. But the larger a company’s societal footprint, the less the bottom line should be all-controlling.


Gold Member
People won't like to hear this given the recent controversies, but if there were to be gaming CEO AI then they would model it on him.

He's one of the best around purely from a business perspective. Doesn't make him less of a shit though.
He is so good that they want to sell the company and the long term image is hurting.


He is so good that they want to sell the company and the long term image is hurting.

The only reason he wanted to sell the company was because he was offered a ridiculous amount of money and it would have allowed him to exit with a golden parachute on his own terms.

Like I said, say what you want about the controversies but he grew the company into an absolute behemoth.


Have AI generate Copyright free music that kind of sounds like every other pop song ever made and fuck real artists by using their work generate it.
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At this point any re-release or reboot of Guitar Hero or Rock Band is an instant buy for me. Man do I miss those series.

I'd be more than okay with them figuring out the legal mumbo jumbo to allow for Spotify integration and then AI determining charts on the spot.
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If you've ever enjoyed an activision game in the last 30 years then it's because of Kotick saving the company from going bankrupt.
Better dead than the putrefying infectious zombie we have today.


I doubt guitar hero would sell that well anymore that era has passed. Both activision & harmonix basically ripped off guitar freaks/drum mania from konami then fucking ran it into the ground in as few years as possible in the west with stupid amounts of updates to the point most people were sick & burnt out on it by then. Which is why there's a mountain of plastic guitars & drum sets filling landfills as i type this.
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