Published: October 25, 2023
How Generative AI Could Shape the Future of Video Games
By Movieguide® Contributor
As generative AI is set to impact many professions, the technology will bring major changes to the video game industry by removing menial tasks and making games more immersive.
Most modern video games include non-playable characters, known as NPCs, to add a level of interaction to the game. Game developers program these characters’ movements and dialogue.
“When we think about those NPCs, they look a bit weird,” Alexis Rolland, development director of La Forge China, a branch of Ubisoft’s research and development unit, told CNN. “You can tell there is something off about what you’re seeing or hearing.”
However, Generative AI has the potential to shake this up. Earlier this year, La Forge launched its Ghostwriter tool, which has the ability to generate new text every time a player talks to an NPC and generate body gestures based on the new text.
“It takes speech as input and generates body gestures as output, so we can imagine those NPCs expressing themselves with non-scripted dialogues, having almost natural body animation, synthesized from speech,” Rolland explained.
Not only does this make a video game world more immersive, but it also cuts down on the work of the developers, who would no longer need to code specific dialogue or body movements. This ease in creating NPCs would extend beyond human characters, as La Forge has also created ZooBuilder, a tool that automatically animates four-legged animals in a realistic way.
Bain and Company found, “More than half of the video game development process will be supported by generative AI within the next five to 10 years.”
“Although most executives we spoke with believe generative AI may free developers from mundane work, they do not believe it will replace the creative spark necessary for game development, emphasizing the importance of human oversight,” said Andre James, global head of Bain’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Despite implementation challenges, most respondents expect generative AI will affect gaming in ways that are far greater than impacts felt by other technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and cloud gaming.”
While this technology could lead to incredible advancements in the video game industry, there are still issues that need to be addressed.
Developers, for example, need AI-generated characters to follow the game’s narrative, sticking to lore in order to keep a player immersed. Given that tools like ChatGPT can’t always tell the truth about real-world events, the technology will likely struggle to stick to fictional lore from a developer.
Generative AI also has to create enjoyable environments for players to interact with. An AI tasked with creating a level for a puzzle game, for example, needs to be able to create a puzzle that has a solution, something that the technology currently struggles with.
As these tools become more fine-tuned and start to show up in video games, player experiences will become more immersive as they interact with content generated uniquely for them.
“AI-driven personalization will be a hallmark of future gaming experiences. Developers may craft games from scratch, tailoring them to individual players’ preferences and habits, thus providing a truly unique and engaging journey for each player,” explained TMCnet.
Movieguide® previously reported:
From TV shows and movies to Nintendo’s Super Mario World theme park opening at Universal Studios, gaming seems more popular than ever – and it is.
During the pandemic, gaming saw a stark rise in popularity. As people were forced to stay home, many gravitated towards gaming as a way to fight boredom and stay connected with friends. In the three years since, gaming has maintained its high popularity, a trend that is likely to continue for a long time.
Despite its popularity, gaming is often still viewed as a fringe interest rather than a robust, global industry. However, a look into the industry reveals just how popular video games are in the world of entertainment.
In 2020, the gaming industry grossed $180 billion in revenues. That was more than the global movie industry from the previous year ($100 billion) and all North American sports ($75 billion) combined. The high industry numbers continued in 2021 and 2022with gaming grossing $192.3 billion and $184.4 billion respectively. Roughly half of 2022’s revenue came from mobile gaming, while PC and console games brought in the rest.