AI game development common in 5 years

A recent study by global consulting firm Bain & Company states that generative artificial intelligence will dominate half of video game development worldwide. Also, in five to 10 years it will undertake many time-consuming tasks such as story creation and design of non-playable characters. However, companies must be prepared to face the challenges of AI adoption.

Superdata Research says the video game industry is bigger than the music and movie industries combined. Statista says it could generate $334 billion in revenue this year, and Exploding Topics says there are roughly 3.09 billion players worldwide. Changes in this entertainment medium will affect millions of people, so we have to see how artificial intelligence will transform it.

This article will discuss the potential benefits of AI game development. I will explain later how this can affect game developers and the companies that produce these media.

What effect does AI have on game development?

An image showing the impact of AI on game development.

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Bain & Company says it spoke with leaders in the gaming industry about the potential benefits and barriers to adopting AI. Most people have high expectations from technology.

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

This may disappoint some as most AAA games can cost roughly a billion dollars to develop. More importantly, 60% do not expect AI to have a drastic impact on the workforce.

The video game life cycle includes preproduction concept development and planning, game creation (production), testing and launch, and ongoing live operations (post launch). However, game execs claim that they only use generative AI for preproduction.

For example, Blizzard Entertainment created Blizzard Diffusion, a machine-learning model trained on its game titles. This enables the game company to quickly create concept art for World of Warcraft and off-shoot titles. Let’s discuss how AI can impact game development in aspects other than preproduction:

  • Story Generation and Non-Playable Characters (NPC): Generative AI can enable infinite 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 a spontaneous conversation.
  • Game Assets: Generative AI can create an entire game world instead of creating multiple actors. For example, TrustedReviews stated that the latest Bethesda title, Starfield, used AI procedural generation for its planets.
  • Direct Operations: Ben says generative AI can improve community management and player support.
  • User-Generated Content: It can help the players to create more content for the game so that they can enjoy it further. For example, Roblox will soon release a generative AI asset creator.

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HoYoverse, the Chinese dev company behind Honkai: Star Rail, said it is also using the technology. “These techniques have been applied to improve facial expressions and behavioral patterns of characters.”

What are the challenges of AI game development?

An image showing the challenges of creating an AI-driven game.

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Generative AI could improve game development, but executives admit there are challenges to adoption. Bain and Company listed a few in their recent study:

  • Generative AI Strategy: Many gaming companies lack clear, long-term plans for expanding the capabilities of generative AI. However, Ben says this is normal for any new technology. However, failure to plan can affect “prioritization, resource allocation and integration with existing processes”.
  • Navigating the Shifting AI Landscape: Many companies enter the generative AI space, making it difficult to identify those who provide the best services.
  • Technology Implementation: Video game company leaders anticipate technical challenges in AI game development. For example, they struggle to determine how generative AI can adapt to existing game engines.
  • Effects of talent: Many believe that generative AI could eliminate jobs in the video game industry. Still, Bain says only 10% of companies care much about this technology. Others see it as another tool designers and developers must learn.

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Anders Kristofferson, lead gaming partner in Bain’s media and entertainment practice, shared more details about AI game development with VentureBeat. “The most interesting thing is that AI is going to fundamentally change the way games are made, but maybe turn on its heels in terms of people’s expectations,” he said.

“Where we see it really impacting is the preproduction and production stages of gaming. And the result is that you’re going to free up time spent on less value.

“…adding activities, storyboards and visuals, which enables game developers to focus more time on the creative storytelling element of game making, which is going to be really engaging.”


AI game development could significantly change how game developers and designers create future titles. Contrary to popular belief, jobs in that industry are unlikely to be eliminated.

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

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

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