News of the week
A comedian and 2 writers walk into a room…
…and decide to sue Meta and OpenAI for training their large language models (LLMs) on copyrighted material. Comedian Sarah Silverman, alongside authors Christopher Golden and Richard Kadrey, filed lawsuits against OpenAI and Meta, alleging that these companies' AI language models were trained on copyrighted materials from their books without consent. The lawsuits, which are seeking class action status, were filed in a San Francisco federal court. The complaint against OpenAI claims that the ChatGPT generates summaries of their copyrighted works, which would only be possible if it were trained on these works. Similarly, the lawsuit against Meta alleges that the company used the authors' copyrighted books to train LlaMA (Meta’s LLM). The lawsuit against Meta also alleges that the company accessed the copyrighted books via a "shadow library" website that has a large quantity of copyrighted material. As at the time of writing, there haven't been any comments by Meta or OpenAI on the lawsuits. Reading across into the gaming sector, it underlines the blurred and undefined world of what companies can use to train their AI programmes and how that might cause issues if it is accessing copyrighted material it should not be using. Many bigger firms are training their own models on their proprietary data, so this will more be an issue for the easily accessible online tools targeted at Indie developers. Source: pcgamer.com
Activision and Microsoft to go another round
This week a federal judge ruled that Microsoft will be able to proceed with its $75 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The US District Judge, Jacqueline Scott, stated that in her opinion the FTC did not demonstrate how Microsoft’s ownership of Activision would harm the competition in the console/cloud-gaming markets. The ruling served as a setback to efforts by the Biden administration to try and regulate large-scale mergers. The judge’s ruling meant that there are no obstacles to the merger in the US. However, with the FTC appealing the ruling, the saga is likely to continue for another round. Given the result of the initial case in Microsoft’s favour, the merging firms are now considering giving up some control of their cloud-gaming business in the UK to appease the CMA. The CMA is currently the only regulators to oppose the deal. In our view, it is now a matter of when not if. Source: bbc.co.uk
EA release EA Sports FC 24 details
As one of the most successful, if not the most successful, franchises in gaming history concludes this year, between EA and FIFA, we now have some additional information on how the future landscape might look. As a reminder, FIFA and EA parted ways after FIFA were reported to have asked for double their licensing fee, close to US$1bn. Their new game features a much larger focus on women’s football, with the top German and Spanish leagues to be included, as well as having women on Ultimate Team. Additional features, such as FC pro, and innovative changes to the in-game play were made possible by EA’s new independence. Over the 30-year partnership with FIFA, EA signed deals directly with many of the world’s top clubs so they should be able to produce a game that has all the right features, eg kits. FIFA has yet to announce who they will choose to build their new game, but we feel it's unlikely to get anywhere near its US$1bn asking price. Source: gamesindustry.biz
In other news...
• Cloud Imperium snaps up Canadian studio Turbulent
• 40% of Sony’s R&D is on live service games and extended reality
• Naughty Dog co-president, Evan Wells, retires after 25 years
• Gardens raises US$31m in series A funding.
• A report by Niko Partners find women make up 37% of gamers in Asia
• Lightspeed studios acquires Lucid Games
• Behaviour interactive establishes second UK studio