Industry focus: AI in gaming

Industry focus: AI in gaming

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Depending on who you ask, AI might be ‘redefining’, ‘transforming’, or ‘disrupting’ the gaming industry. But whichever way you look at it, it’s undeniable that AI technology is indeed changing the gaming space – and we’re following the changes with curiosity. 

In recent months, we’ve seen more gaming brands and influencers embrace the potential of AI to add new depth to the worlds and stories they create. Gaming is inherently…well, gamified. And that makes it a truly exciting sector for experimenting with emerging technologies – developing new ways to tell stories, connect with users, and create immersive experiences. 

Gaming is all about play. And right now is the perfect time to use play as a means to test the possibilities of AI technology. 

Creating games is an immense task

Because games are packed with visuals and moving parts, many of which are interactive, it takes a lot of human labour and computer processing power to create them. But generative AI offers a new solution – using inputs of huge datasets to generate outputs of video, audio, image and text much more efficiently. 

This means that embracing AI is a no-brainer for the gaming industry. It can cut production times, slash costs, and enable the creation of high-quality gaming experiences at more frequent intervals. 

And AI can make gaming worlds more immersive and realistic 

As well as doing the job faster, AI can enhance the immersive qualities of gaming worlds; making them more engaging, more realistic, and more exciting for players. 

One of the ways it does this is by enabling the development of more adaptive and unpredictable behaviour within games. Non-player characters (NPCs) in games have conventionally been pretty predictable; they operate on a set of pre-programmed behaviours, so once a player has played a game a few times over, they’ve probably seen all the potential behaviours that an NPC has to offer. 

With AI, NPCs can operate on the basis of their own goals, relationships, and personalities – all of which influence the choices they make and the behaviours they exhibit. This means that games can offer novel experiences and unpredictable storylines; because NPC behaviour is dynamic rather than totally pre-determined. 

On top of this, AI tech can make the game environment itself less predictable, with adaptive features like weather and terrain that respond to the actions of players and NPCs. 

And this drives greater player satisfaction 

Less predictable and more immersive games lead to happier (or at least, more fulfilled) players. Instead of playing through a predictable storyline and interacting with predictable NPCs, players are challenged by AI's unexpected behaviours and environment changes, and they have to adapt their own game techniques to meet the demands of those unexpected interactions. 

Using AI, the game can learn from the behaviours of the human player – and use this behavioural data to tailor the experience to that player’s skill and motivations. This makes the game a far more engaging and emotional experience for the player, because it’s responding to their own goals and feelings. Drawing on human behavioural data, NPCs can even engage in meaningful conversations and interactions with the human player. 

In an interview with the BBC, Nick Walton (Chief Executive at Latitude.io) said he expects to see increasingly dynamic and adaptive AI-powered gaming worlds appearing on the market going forwards – “with characters that feel alive, with story arcs where you as the hero are doing unique things and having a very unique impact on the world.” 

"You could play a game where you find a town that no-one else cares about and no other player has spent time in, and you can get really invested in it and develop relationships with all the characters in it," he added. 

AI is also driving efficiency in the peripherals of gaming

In an interview with LEAP, Jordi van den Bussche (Founder and CEO at JVDB Studios) explained how he started using AI to solve a problem he was facing as a gaming influencer. 

“As a content creator, I was struggling with the key-man problem – I was always needed for my videos,” he said. And to minimise the need for him to show up as a human individual in every video he created, he turned to AI. 

“I made an AI-powered gaming YouTube channel called Bloo. Where the channel has a host which solved the key-man problem. Bloo currently has more than a million subscribers and 20+ million monthly views in its second year of existence. This was a real pivotal moment for me.” 

“This evolution in technology mirrored my broader interest in how AI can enhance creativity and engagement across various digital platforms,” Jordi added. 

Share your experience

Do you work at the intersection of AI and gaming? We’d love to know what you’re most excited about in this space. Head to this newsletter’s comment section on LinkedIn and tell us in the comments. 


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