How AI in Gaming Propelling the Industry into a New Epoch

Sudeep Srivastava March 27, 2024
ai in gaming

The global gaming industry has witnessed a huge transformation in recent years that is as exhilarating as the games. This transformation is powered by various factors, such as rising gamers’ appetite for enthralling adventures, legalization of online betting, popularity of fantasy sports apps, increasing competition amongst developers, and adoption of emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI in gaming propels effective game development and delivers more adaptive experiences, ushering the industry into a new era of innovation, experience, and limitless possibilities.

In 2020, online gaming witnessed a significant surge due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, which forced game enthusiasts to be homebound and find new ways to satisfy their gaming appetites. While the growth trend has normalized, online gaming is still popular, with over 2.5 billion active gamers worldwide. Looking ahead, AI holds immense power to redefine the industry’s future, driven by NPCs (more details later).

Number of online video gamers worldwide, by region

Seeing the unprecedented growth and popularity of online gaming, game developers are proactively making an eclectic array of casual games, mid-core games, and AAA games that keep the massive audience hooked, and AI acts as a transformative catalyst. And as AI in the gaming industry continues to advance, we are most likely to experience even more innovative AI gaming solutions in the future.

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The Multifarious Role of AI in the Gaming World

AI in gaming has come a long way since the world chess champion Garry Kasparov lost to IBM’s Deep Blue. Over nine days, the man competed against the machine, and the machine won. How? With its ability to analyze millions of moves per second, Deep Blue had a vast trove of data to make informed decisions, which led it to beat humans eventually.

Thereafter, the gaming industry has taken this approach a step further by leveraging generative AI in businesses that can learn on its own and adapt its actions accordingly. These AI trends in gaming have increasingly advanced, redefining the gaming landscape and engaging a new genre of gamers.

Accordingly, many emerging startups and huge enterprises are stepping into this virtual realm with innovative AI gaming solutions and platforms. For instance,

  • In January 2021, Latitude, a company specializing in AI-generated infinite stories within video games, raised $3.3 million in venture funding.
  • Osmo, an interactive play business, successfully secured a substantial investment of $32.5 million, bolstering its growth prospects.
  • Gosu Data Lab, a Lithuanian AI gaming firm, has gained a noteworthy $5 million in funding, with its primary focus centered on analyzing gaming data to enhance player skill sets through AI-driven insights.

All these powerful examples of AI in gaming demonstrate the ever-increasing dominance of this tech trend in the entertainment industry, highlighting its advantages and how it will continue to reshape the industry.

You may like reading: How to Make a Successful Game App

Use Cases of AI in the Gaming Industry

The impact of AI in the gaming industry is immeasurable and even unstoppable, substantially transforming the many gaming aspects by making them more engaging, adaptive, and responsive. Moving ahead, let’s explore the various areas where the uses of artificial intelligence in gaming are remarkable, driving the industry to new heights.

Use Cases of AI in the Gaming Industry

Non Player Characters (NPCs)

The most powerful application of AI in gaming is with NPCs. These non-player characters behave intelligently as if real players control them. However, they are pre-programmed, and all their actions are determined by automated rules that can’t be controlled by a game player. These characters can interact with players more realistically, adding to the immersion and dynamism of games where each player experiences the game differently.

Many gaming companies, such as SEED (EA), leverage the power of AI-enabled NPCs, which are trained by simulating top players.

Image Enhancements and AI Upscaling

Another remarkable application of AI in gaming is to improve visuals via “AI Upscaling.” The core concept of this technique is to transform a low-resolution image into a higher-resolution one with a similar appearance. This technique not only breathes new life into classic games but also enables players to enjoy cutting-edge visuals and improved resolutions, even on older hardware.

NVIDIA’s DLSS technology demonstrates an excellent example of AI in image enhancements. NVIDIA researchers employ AI-driven upscaling in games like “Cyberpunk 2077” and “Control,” to deliver higher-resolution graphics and improved frame rates, allowing players to alter a scene.

Procedural Content Generation (PCG)

Video games are equipped with multitudes of 3-D objects, characters, clothing, props, music, graphics, levels, quests, maps, and more. Generating these game assets is a complex and time-consuming task, requiring huge investments and resources. AI can be a game-changer here. By using AI in PCG, game developers can craft richer, more diverse worlds, simplifying the complex process of game asset generation at an accelerated rate to meet users’ demands.  Moreover, AI can also generate interactive narratives based on past storylines.

For example, AI Dungeon 2, an innovative text-based adventure game, uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 language model to offer infinite adventures and possibilities. In AI Dungeon 2, gamers can progress through the game by giving the relevant prompts and directing AI to create unique storylines for their characters to interact with.

AI Dungeon Gameplay

Player-Experience Modeling (PEM)

PEM is one of the most popular AI trends in gaming that mathematically models gamers’ experience and anticipates their preference for liking or disliking a game. AI in player experience modeling analyzes the users’ competence and emotional status to adjust the gaming mechanism accordingly. As per the gamers’ skill level, AI can increase or decrease the game’s complexity in real-time, making it more interactive and adaptive as per users’ interests.

Data-Mining and Real-Time Analytics

The 2.5 billion global gamers generate approximately 50 terabytes of data every day, making it a big challenge for companies to monitor this data and take proactive actions before opportunities leave the door and players exit the game. It is why gaming businesses increasingly leverage AI and machine learning in live streams for data mining and extracting actionable insights.

DemonWare, an online multiplayer game, is the best example of AI in gaming that uses real-time AI data analytics.

Player Sentiment Analysis

One of the most significant applications of AI in gaming is player sentiment analysis, which involves analyzing players’ feedback, reviews, and other data to gain valuable insights into their preferences for game levels, menu elements, or opponents.

By harnessing the capabilities of AI sentiment analysis, game developers scrutinize player feedback to discern what aspects of games resonate most with them and what needs to be refined.

For instance, League of Legends, one of the most popular Riot Games, uses AI sentiment analysis to monitor player discussions across various platforms. Based on this data, Riot Games developers can make informed decisions about game updates and improvements to enhance the gaming experience.

Cheat Detection in Multiplayer Games

Cheating has been a big challenge in multiplayer games that negatively impacts the player experience and causes serious repercussions for gaming platforms. Due to the growing risks of cheating in games, players worldwide find themselves insecure against their opponents who play evil tactics to gain unfair advantages. So, there is a pressing need to use AI to analyze the players’ movement patterns and detect whether a user is cheating.

Many popular online games like PUBG already use AI to analyze the players’ patterns and prevent cheating. In fact, the game has made several headlines in the past to ban even professional players who cheat in PUBG.

Testing and Debugging

AI-driven testing and debugging tools can efficiently handle thousands of complex test cases at a much faster pace than humans can do. The automated tools can scan vast amounts of code to detect errors, identify bugs, and suggest fixes.

Automating these time-consuming and labor-intensive tasks enables developers to spot all the little things that should be removed from the game structure and perform their jobs more efficiently, making game testing much faster and smoother.

Virtual Assistants

Many of the modern games harness the power of AI-driven assistants to make their user experience more interactive and adaptive. These virtual assistants use natural language processing (NLP) to comprehend players’ queries and respond accordingly to satisfy their quest. They help players by giving relevant information and guidance during the gameplay, increasing user engagement and retention rate.

Also Read: AI in Sports – How is artificial intelligence redefining the sports industry?

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Emerging AI Trends in Gaming

AI for gaming has firmly established itself as the key driver to enable enthralling user experiences. But as we delve deeper into the ever-evolving role of AI in gaming, we will explore how AI, along with other technologies, is redefining the future of this dynamic industry. Let’s look at the key AI trends in gaming that are emerging in recent years.

Emerging AI Trends in Gaming

Generative AI in Gaming

Generative AI allows developers to generate infinite, ever-changing content, providing a fresh and unique gaming experience to players every time they visit the platform. For example, games like No Man’s Sky and Minecraft ensure that their players can never go out of places in the virtual world.

Also, generative AI helps create more realistic and progressive NPCs that evolve, learn, and adapt throughout the gameplay, keeping the games unpredictable and replayable.

Cloud-Based Gaming

The future of gaming is streaming, allowing players to enjoy their high-end games online on any device, even on smartphones. With cloud-based gaming, gamers need not download or install the games on their devices, and they do not even require an expensive gaming console or personal computer to play their favorite games. Moreover, players need not worry about losing their progress as they can resume their gameplay anytime on any device.

So, where does AI come in cloud gaming? Well, based on the power of Deep Neural Network (DNN), AI helps cloud servers perform better, ensuring that even outdated hardware can deliver a seamless gaming experience.

Also Read: AI in Cloud: Transforming Enterprises with 10 Benefits and Applications

Blockchain and NFT

In the gaming world, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) enable in-game economies, allowing players to trade in digital tokens to make games more rewarding. NFT games leverage the power of blockchain technology to track and protect the ownership of players, creating a more inclusive and transparent ecosystem in the world of online gaming.

So, what is the role of AI in NFT? AI helps developers analyze players’ data to predict what types of assets they prefer, creating more targeted content and personalized gaming experiences.

Also Read: Blockchain in Gaming – Potential, Limitations, and Real-World Examples

AR, VR, and Metaverse

With the integration of AR, VR, and metaverse in gaming, AI opens up even more exciting ways to make online gaming interactive, delivering an immersive user experience. Imagine a scenario where you, as a player, can create a virtual world and invite your friends inside it! Isn’t it an enthralling experience? AI can efficiently design such virtual scenes.

The Ethical Considerations and Challenges of AI in Gaming

Despite many applications and advantages of AI in gaming, gaming companies should closely consider the ethical challenges that arise with the ever-evolving AI involvement. Some of the most considerable challenges related to AI in gaming are:

Ethical Considerations of AI in Gaming

Data Privacy

AI in gaming typically relies on users’ data to generate responses, which raises concerns about data privacy and protection. What type of data is collected, how it is stored, and who can access it? Therefore, it is essential for AI development companies to be transparent about the use of this data and implement robust security measures to protect users’ information.

Game Addiction

AI-driven games also increase the risk of addiction, stimulating players to spend excessive time before digital screens. As an ethical consideration, game developers should implement time limits or a warning message reminding players to take regular breaks.

Offensive Content

As AI grows in sophistication and personalization, game characters may use offensive language, produce harmful content, or demonstrate violent behaviors. It can be a serious concern, particularly for young players who are more impressionable and adapt quickly.

Therefore, to deal with such challenges, game developers should ensure that the game characters do not promote offensive content or harmful actions. And if it is the demand of the game, it must display a warning message or age limit consideration to prevent the implementation of such content in real life.

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The Future of AI in Gaming

AI has greatly impacted all industries and gaming is no exception. Over the years, AI in gaming has emerged as a transformative force, constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the virtual world and reshaping the way we develop, experience, and enjoy games.

Another remarkable way AI for gaming is impacting the sector is its impressive potential to offer more interactivity, high-level graphics and visuals, infinite combinations of stories and landscapes, more realistic NPCs, and personalized experiences. Additionally, gaming companies are further leveraging the AI’s predictive analytics capabilities to analyze players’ behavior and foretell the winning team.

Looking ahead, AI will play a central role in empowering the development of online games and propelling the gaming industry into a new epoch. As AI for gaming continues to enhance the realism of players’ experiences, it will hopefully open new possibilities for creators to monetize their gaming platforms.

However, as AI in gaming gets more integrated, discussions around AI ethics, data privacy, and businesses can become critical, requiring organizations to implement responsible AI. No wonder, in the future, governments may impose stern regulations to use explainable AI for gaming.

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Being a reputed AI development company, we have a proven track record of delivering enthralling games for businesses worldwide.

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Interested in capitalizing on the growing market of AI in gaming? Partner with us, and we will help you transform your gaming idea into a fully functional reality with our award-winning game app development services.

FAQs

Q. What is AI in gaming?

A. AI in gaming refers to the use of artificial intelligence, computer vision, and machine learning algorithms to enhance various aspects of video games, making games more interactive, dynamic, and adaptive to players’ skills and preferences. A common example of artificial intelligence use in gaming is to control non-player characters, personalizing players’ experiences and increasing their engagement throughout the gameplay.

Q. How is AI used in gaming?

A. The use cases of AI in gaming are widespread and far-fetched, reshaping all aspects of the industry. Here are some of the most remarkable ways AI is used in gaming.

  • Making intelligent and adaptive NPCs
  • Creating more realistic gaming experiences
  • Detecting and preventing cheats in multiplayer games
  • Generating game content
  • Testing and debugging applications
  • Enhancing images and visuals in games
  • Analyzing and protecting users’ data

Q. What are the benefits of AI in gaming?

A. The benefits of AI in gaming are profound and multifaceted. The technology helps enhance gameplay with personalized experiences, realistic graphics, and intelligent NPCs. Also, AI for gaming helps streamline game development with procedural content generation, assists in quality assurance, and enables data-driven marketing. Furthermore, AI prevents cheating and allows fair play, making games more enjoyable for players while driving innovation in the industry.

THE AUTHOR
Sudeep Srivastava
Co-Founder and Director
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