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OpenAI Acquires Creator of “Biomes” Open Source Game

OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, recently announced its acquisition of a small “digital product company” called Global Illumination.

Global Illumination, founded by Thomas Dimson, Taylor Gordon, and Joey Flynn, will reportedly be working on OpenAI’s “core products, including ChatGPT.” 

The team, according to the blog post, has previously designed and built products early on at Instagram and Facebook, including having “made significant contributions” at YouTube, Google, Pixar, and Riot Games. 

Notably, Global Illumination’s standout creation is an open-source video game called “Biomes,” which the OpenAI community has already started to draw comparisons of the game’s graphic design to Microsoft’s OG game, “Minecraft.”

Considering OpenAI’s extended “multi-billion dollar” partnership with Microsoft in January, it does seem puzzling for the AI startup to acquire a company that was building a somewhat similar open-source game to an established game owned by Microsoft. 

As part of that partnership, Microsoft is already deploying new AI-powered experiences, fueled by OpenAI’s models across the tech giant’s consumer and enterprise products – including Azure OpenAI Service. Azure also serves as OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider, which powers all of OpenAI’s workloads across research, products, and API services. 

Diving into the vast realm of possibilities with OpenAI’s newest acquisition, could OpenAI be heading into the video game sector as a new revenue stream? 

While it remains uncertain whether OpenAI aims to establish a foothold in the gaming industry, OpenAI’s technology could potentially find applications in open-world video games and massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), where interactions with non-playable characters (NPCs) are key.

If it seeks to tap into the evolving potential of generative AI within gaming, this acquisition could position OpenAI as a pioneer in a landscape that has yet to fully embrace AI’s creative capabilities.

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