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South Korean publisher and developer KRAFTON has released its earnings report for 2022, which states that the company was able to boost its profits by 15.5% compared to the year before, mainly due to flagship title PUBG switching to a free-to-play model and reaching millions of new players.

The report also reveals what KRAFTON’s development pipeline looks like at the moment and contains some interesting – and perhaps slightly concerning – details on how the company wants to use AI tech to help with game development.

KRAFTON's current game projects

The studio wants to use its experiences with PUBG to also gain a foothold in the extraction shooter subgenre, which gained popularity with titles like Escape from Tarkov in recent years.

Dubbed Project BlackBudget, KRAFTON envisions “an ever-changing PvPvE open-world” with “satisfying gunplay” for its own entry into this category. The game is being considered for a PC, console, and mobile release.

Call of Duty recently made its debut in the extraction shooter subgenre with DMZ, which is part of its battle royale game Warzone 2.

Aside from Project BlackBudget, KRAFTON is working on a sequel to Subnautica and games with the codenames Project GoldRush, Project Windless, and Project Impact.

GoldRush is “targeting a Western audience of the action-adventure sandbox genre” and aims to deliver “instant action and rewarding progression”. It’s envisioned as a live-service game with PvPvE content.

Windless will be developed at KRAFTON’s newly-opened studio in Montreal, Canada, and is based on the popular Korean web-novel The Bird That Drinks Tears. The console game’s concept is currently being finalized.

There is no information about Project Impact in the report.

KRAFTON details use of AI in game development

However, the presentation does contain some interesting bits on KRAFTON’s plans around AI and Deep Learning tech.

The company wants to use AI technology to help increase “game production efficiency” in the areas of programming, art, personalized avatars, game AI, 3D modeling, difficulty testing and design, and NPC speech generation, which sounds like it’s basically the entire development process.

KRAFTON also wants to add new gameplay elements based around AI features, such as the ability for players to make virtual AI-powered friends in their games.