AI game development common in 5 years | Inquirer Technology

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

08:15 AM September 18, 2023

A recent study from global consulting firm Bain & Company said generative artificial intelligence will dominate half of video game development worldwide. Also, it will take over numerous time-consuming tasks like story generation and nonplayable character design in five to 10 years. However, companies must be prepared to meet the challenges of AI adoption.

SuperData Research says the video game industry is larger than the music and movie industry combined. Statista says it could gain $334 billion in revenue this year, and Exploding Topics states the world has roughly 3.09 billion players. Changes to this entertainment medium will impact millions, so we must see how artificial intelligence will transform it.

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


What is the impact of AI game development?

Image illustrating AI's influence on game development.

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Bain & Company says it spoke with gaming industry leaders about the potential benefits and hurdles of adopting AI. Most have high expectations for the technology.


They claim it will impact their business more than virtual reality, cloud gaming, and other technologies. However, only 20% of the execs believe generative AI will reduce costs.

It may disappoint some as most AAA games may cost roughly a billion dollars to develop. More importantly, 60% don’t expect AI will drastically impact workers.


The video game life cycle consists of preproduction concept development and planning, building the game (production), testing and launch, and ongoing live operations (postlaunch). Yet, game execs claim they only use generative AI for preproduction.

For example, Blizzard Entertainment created Blizzard Diffusion, a machine-learning model trained on its game titles. It enables the game company to produce concept art quickly for World of Warcraft and off-shoot titles. Let’s discuss how AI game development could affect aspects besides preproduction:

  • Story generation and nonplayable characters (NPCs): Generative AI could enable limitless interactive stories instead of assigning canned dialogue to NPCs. For example, Nvidia demonstrated how its AI model enabled a chef character to engage the player in spontaneous conversation.
  • Game assets: Generative AI could generate whole game worlds instead of several artists making them. For example, TrustedReviews said the latest Bethesda title, Starfield, used AI procedural generation for its planets.
  • Live ops: 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 further. For example, Roblox will release a generative AI asset creator soon.

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HoYoverse, the Chinese dev company behind Honkai: Star Rail, said it’s also using this technology. “These techniques have been implemented to improve facial appearance and behavioral patterns of characters.”

What are the challenges of AI game development?

Image showcasing challenges in AI-driven game creation.

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

  • Generative AI strategy: Many gaming firms lack clear, long-term plans for maximizing generative AI’s potential. However, Bain says it is common for any new technology. Nevertheless, failure to plan may affect “prioritization, resource allocation, and integration with existing processes.”
  • Navigating the shifting AI landscape: Numerous companies enter the generative AI space, making it difficult to identify the ones that provide the best services.
  • Technology implementation: Video game company leaders expect technical challenges in AI game development. For example, they struggle to determine how generative AI could suit existing game engines.
  • Talent implications: Most believe generative AI could eliminate video game industry jobs. Yet, Bain says only 10% of companies feel heightened worry about this technology. The rest see it as another tool designers and developers must learn.

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Anders Christofferson, a leading gaming partner within Bain’s Media & Entertainment practice, shared more details about AI game development with VentureBeat. “What’s most interesting is that AI is going to fundamentally change the way games are made, but probably not necessarily turn it on its heels in the ways people are expecting,” he said.

“Where we see it really having an impact is on the preproduction and production phases of gaming. And the implications of that is you’re going to free up time that is spent doing less value.

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


AI game development could significantly shift how game developers and designers make future titles. Contrary to popular belief, it is unlikely to eliminate jobs in that industry.

Instead, this technology will enable companies to produce games faster and easier. AI could reduce time-consuming and repetitive tasks so game makers could focus on making games.

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You may read the original Bain & Company article to learn more about their findings. Also, check out more digital tips and trends at Inquirer Tech.

TOPICS: AI, Gaming, interesting topics, Trending
TAGS: AI, Gaming, interesting topics, Trending

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