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Generative AI will take over half of video game development: study


A recent study by international consultancy Bain & Company indicates that generative artificial intelligence will dominate half of the world’s video game development. Additionally, it will take over many time-consuming tasks such as story generation and non-playable character design within five to ten years. However, businesses must be prepared to meet the challenges of adopting AI.

SuperData Research claims that the video game industry is larger than the music and movie industries combined. Statista says it could earn $334 billion in revenue this year, and Exploding Topics says the world has about 3.09 billion gamers. Changes to this entertainment medium will affect millions of people. So we need to see how artificial intelligence will transform it.

This article will discuss the potential benefits of AI game development. Later, I will explain what impact this could have on game developers and the companies producing these media.

What is the impact of AI game development?

Photo credit: byowls.com

Bain & Company says it has spoken with gaming industry leaders about the benefits and potential obstacles of adopting AI. Most have high expectations of technology.

They say it will have a bigger impact on their business than virtual reality, cloud gaming and other technologies. However, only 20% of executives believe generative AI will reduce costs.

This might disappoint some, as most AAA games can cost around a billion dollars to develop. More importantly, 60% do not expect AI to have a significant impact on workers.

The video game life cycle includes pre-production concept development and planning, game construction (production), testing and launch, and ongoing live operations (post-launch). Still, game makers say they’re only using generative AI for pre-production.

For example, Blizzard Entertainment created Blizzard Diffusion, a machine learning model trained on its game titles. This allows the gaming company to quickly produce concept art for World of Warcraft and spin-off titles. Let’s discuss how AI game development could affect aspects beyond pre-production:

  • Story generation and non-playable characters (NPCs): Generative AI could enable unlimited interactive stories instead of assigning canned dialogue to NPCs. For example, Nvidia demonstrated how its AI model allowed a chef character to initiate a spontaneous conversation with the player.
  • Game Assets: Generative AI could generate entire game worlds instead of multiple artists creating them. For example, TrustedReviews said that Bethesda’s latest title, Starfield, used AI procedural generation for its planets.
  • Live Operations: Bain says generative AI could improve community management and player support.
  • User-generated content: Players could help produce more content for a game so they can enjoy it more. For example, Roblox will soon release a generative AI asset creator.

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HoYoverse, the Chinese development company behind Honkai: Star Rail, said it is also using this technology. “These techniques were implemented to improve the facial appearance and behaviors of the characters.”

What are the challenges of AI game development?

Image illustrating the challenges of creating AI-based games.

Photo credit: linkedin.com

Generative AI could improve game development, but executives admitted that adoption presents challenges. Bain & Company listed a few in its recent study:

  • Generative AI Strategy: Many video game companies lack clear long-term plans for maximizing the potential of generative AI. However, Bain says this is common for any new technology. However, the inability to plan can affect “prioritization, resource allocation and integration with existing processes”.
  • Navigating the Changing AI Landscape: Many companies are jumping into the generative AI space, making it difficult to identify which ones provide the best services.
  • Technology implementation: Executives of video game companies expect technical challenges in AI game development. For example, they struggle to determine how generative AI might fit into existing game engines.
  • Talent implications: Most believe that generative AI could eliminate jobs in the video game industry. Yet Bain says only 10% of companies are more concerned about this technology. Others see it as another tool for designers and developers to learn.

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Anders Christofferson, a senior games partner in Bain’s Media & Entertainment practice, shared more details on AI game development with VentureBeat. “The most interesting thing is that AI is going to fundamentally change the way games are made, but probably not necessarily upend it in the way people expect,” he said.

“Where we see this really having an impact is in the pre-production and production phases of games. And the implications of that are that you’re going to free up time spent on less valuable things.

“…added activities, creating storyboards and images, which allows game developers to focus more time on the creative storytelling component of game creation, which is going to be really fascinating.”


AI game development could significantly change the way game developers and designers create future titles. Contrary to popular belief, this is unlikely to eliminate jobs in this sector.

Instead, this technology will allow companies to produce games faster and easier. AI could reduce time-consuming and repetitive tasks so that game creators can focus on creating games.

You can read the original Bath & Company article to learn more about their findings. Also, discover more digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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