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Gaming: AI is reshaping development and gameplay


  • Generative AI autonomously crafts immersive gaming elements.
  • Generative AI hastens game development, altering traditional timelines.

The advent of generative artificial intelligence (AI) represents a significant leap in the gaming industry. Known for its ability to generate dynamic and new content, this cutting-edge form of AI paves the way for myriad creative opportunities, revolutionizing how developers and players interact with games.

Generative AI leverages techniques such as deep learning, neural networks, and various machine learning strategies to produce original content from specific datasets and inputs. More accessible AIs such as ChatGPT, DALL·E 2, Bing AI, and Google Bard have left a considerable imprint across various sectors. Specifically, the gaming industry benefits from a robust set of tools enabling the creation of unique content like 3D models, animations, and storylines – all in an automated and efficient manner.

One of the game developers’ key challenges has always been the creation of large-scale, immersive content to maintain player engagement. Generative AI, however, is revolutionizing this facet by autonomously producing game elements like breathtaking environments and captivating characters. It gives developers an unprecedented opportunity to create virtually infinite game worlds, ensuring players get a fresh experience every time they play.

According to Market.us, the Global Generative AI in Gaming Market was worth US$922 million in 2022. Predicted to enjoy an impressive CAGR of 23.3% between 2023 and 2032, this market is expected to reach a valuation of US$7,105 million by 2032.

generative ai in the gaming market is soaring

Generative AI in gaming market growth (Source – Market.Us)

Generative AI plays a pivotal role in game development, fostering synergistic processes among developers, artists, and designers. It enables artists to craft vivid visual effects, lifelike characters, and realistic environments. Simultaneously, developers can automate routine tasks like the level design or bug detection, freeing them to focus on more innovative practices. Moreover, generative AI improves collaboration in game development by enabling real-time generation and sharing of assets.

Squaring off

However, this technology has had its share of detractors within the gaming industry. A notable instance was a few months ago when Squanch Games faced criticism for incorporating AI-generated art in its game High On Life. According to a report by GamesBeat News, Justin Roiland, the former CEO, stood by the decision to use AI-generated art from Midjourney. He argued that such artwork enriched the game’s alien planet backdrop with an aptly surrealistic aesthetic and contributed ” weird, funny ideas.”

Another example is the Good Luck Have Fun report revealing that Ninja Theory, among others, used a library from Altered AI to generate vocal performances. This move sparked some resistance, particularly among voice actors who felt their work was being reproduced by AI without fair remuneration. This concern spread to the art community when it emerged that all artwork uploaded to Artstation was automatically opted into sharing AI training data. Nevertheless, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney defended this policy on Twitter, highlighting the significance of fair use under copyright law.

generative ai in gaming causing concerns

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney addresses the concern on Twitter. (Source – Twitter)

The dialogue regarding the application of AI tools in game development has matured over recent months. Developers have been demonstrating the potential benefits of generative AI in their field.

Korean developer NCSoft, for example, showcased its new AI-powered facial animation and sound technology in a teaser for “Project M.” Created in Epic’s Unreal Engine 5, the project uses AI to generate dialogue and movements based on user-provided text and sound.

Last month, French giant Ubisoft unveiled its new AI writing program, Ghostwriter. Developed by Ubisoft La Forge, an R&D division, Ghostwriter aids writers in crafting NPC “barks” or brief phrases spoken by in-game characters when players trigger an event. Ubisoft quickly clarified that this tool was intended to eliminate monotonous tasks for writers, not to replace them.

Finally, Roblox, one of the most significant gaming companies, recently launched AI-based tools for its game creators, such as a material generator replicating lighting and an AI code assistant for faster, more intuitive coding. Considering Roblox’s extensive developer community, these tools bring generative AI within reach for many creators.

Despite the criticisms, renowned game developers’ increasing visibility and use of these tools indicate that generative AI, likened to the rise of the internet by Stefano Corazza, head of Roblox Studios, is here to stay. Game developers recognize generative AI as a transformative tool, and its widespread adoption seems inevitable.

Watch the video below as the Chief Scientist at Roblox discusses how generative AI is changing game development:

Quality assurance powered by generative AI

Generative AI has demonstrated its potential as a significant asset in enhancing game development testing and quality assurance (QA) protocols. Its ability to automate various aspects of game testing introduces a host of advantages, including increased accuracy and improved operational efficiency.

  • Creating test cases: AI tools can be configured to generate an array of test cases, ensuring a thorough examination of all game aspects.
  • Identifying and ranking bugs: AI can aid developers in swiftly and accurately detecting bugs and ranking them based on their severity and impact.
  • Predictive analysis: AI can analyze gameplay data to anticipate potential issues, allowing developers to tackle them before they develop into significant problems proactively.

By leveraging AI algorithms and machine learning methods, developers can speed up the detection and resolution of bugs and other issues, thereby delivering a smoother and more engaging gaming experience for players.

Gaming has never been quicker than with generative AI

The development cycle for modern AAA games usually spans over six years. Games currently in development for the latest generation of consoles may not be released until the next generation emerges. AI tools, such as those used for the procedural generation of environments and dungeons, have become integral to game development. For example, all dungeons in the game Oblivion were generated procedurally.

Modern generative tools hold the potential to expedite development. Take voice acting as an example: instead of recording countless lines of dialogue, you could train a model on an actor’s voice and then input a script to produce generated dialogue.

The truth today is that many studios, including smaller indie ones, are feeling the pressure from prolonged development cycles. Generative AI tools can help reduce the length of game development, although the extent to which they can do so would be specific to each project. The days when top games were developed within 2-3 year cycles seem over.

Gaming has never been easier with generative AI

A user named @StefanMitu_ commenting on the benefits of generative AI for developers.

While sophisticated machine learning systems have impressed many with their capability to create photorealistic artifacts, it’s crucial to remember that game development is an extended and intricate process. It involves numerous teams working closely together, much like a well-oiled machine. Some might overstate the impact of generative AI on game development, but its utility as a tool is undeniable.

Let’s look at some real-world instances of how generative AI is being used in game development:

  • No Man’s Sky: This popular space exploration game uses generative AI to create an infinite variety of unique planets, creatures, and environments, enriching the uniqueness of each player’s experience. The game’s algorithm generates these elements on the fly, ensuring each player’s unique gaming experience.
  • Spelunky 2: As a procedurally generated platformer, Spelunky 2 uses generative AI to create randomized levels that players must navigate. The game’s algorithm creates these levels based on specific rules and parameters, making each playthrough a new and challenging experience.
  • Frostpunk: In this city-building game, generative AI creates randomized events, and challenges players must overcome. The game’s AI system adjusts these events based on player decisions, making the game more challenging and unpredictable.
  • Shadow of the Colossus: The remastered edition of Shadow of the Colossus leverages generative AI to boost the game’s visuals and performance. The integrated AI mechanism refines texture quality and lighting effects, intensifying the game’s immersive qualities.

As technology continues to evolve, generative AI is poised to play a crucial role in shaping the future of gaming. It is geared to deliver immersive and captivating experiences that push the boundaries of creativity and engagement, offering players an entirely new level of interactivity and enjoyment.







Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama
Leah Sirama, a lifelong enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence, has been exploring technology and the digital realm since childhood. Known for his creative thinking, he's dedicated to improving AI experiences for all, making him a respected figure in the field. His passion, curiosity, and creativity drive advancements in the AI world.
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