Generative AI will account for half of game development

04 October 2023 Consultancy.eu 3 min. read

Artificial intelligence is anticipated to overtake more than half of the game development process in the coming five to ten years. That is according to a report from Bain & Company, in which experts foresee a dramatic shift coming to the video game industry.

The consensus among gaming industry executives is that generative AI (GenAI) promises to enhance the quality of games and expedite game release dates. GenAI may also have huge potential for helping developers bring larger, more immersive, and personalized experiences to future game releases.

GenAI tools are not, however, expected to significantly cut costs in the expensive process of video game development. “Interestingly, only 20% of executives believe that generative AI will reduce costs, which might be a disappointment to some, given that top-tier games may cost as much as $1 billion to develop,” the report notes.

Generative AI will account for half of game development

An evolving landscape

Over time, gaming executives anticipate that GenAI will increasingly demonstrate its potential in various areas of game production, particularly in key processes such as story generation and developing non-playable characters, potentially enabling limitless interactive narratives tailored to individual players.

As confidence in GenAI tools grows, the technology is being given a more central role in shaping the game’s story, ultimately boosting engagement and satisfying the demand for fresh content.

Generative AI will account for half of game development

“There’s plenty of hype around generative AI in gaming,” said Anders Christofferson, partner at Bain & Company. “There’s also incredible potential, which, if harnessed properly, can deliver massive benefits to players, creators, and publishers.”

The major obstacles

According to the survey conducted by Bain & Company, gaming industry leaders identify system integration as the primary obstacle to implementing generative AI in gaming.

Respondents also pointed out several other challenges hindering AI adoption, including difficulties in data training, insufficient technical expertise, the absence of clear regulatory frameworks, and the high costs associated with implementation.

Generative AI will account for half of game development

GenAI is still a new and emerging technology and though many businesses are hedging bets on it, there are still significant risks, including privacy concerns and built-in biases.

Beside the existing ethical concerns, organizations will also have to grapple with emerging regulations that will limit the use of AI. That includes, for example, the EU’s so-called 'AI Act,' initially introduced in 2021, which seeks to classify AI systems by level of risk and mandate requirements on development and use.