AI in Gaming: Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Video Game Industry

AI in Gaming: Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Video Game Industry

AI has been an integral part of video games since their earliest days — even the simplest games, like Pong, required rudimentary AI technology to control the actions of the computer against a human player.

As video games have become more complex, so has the AI that influences how they are played. That being said, AI is still used in a fairly limited capacity in the video game industry, at least compared to what it could be in the not-so-distant future.

With the recent advent of powerful new AI technology, a whole new realm of possible ways to use AI in video games has opened up.

AI in Gaming: Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Video Game Industry

How Is AI Currently Used in Video Games?

Modern video games primarily use AI to govern the way non-player characters (NPCs) act in them.

For example, AI tells NPCs where they can and can’t go, what actions they can perform, and how to react to certain actions performed by the human player. Depending on the game, this type of NPC artificial intelligence can either be very simplistic or surprisingly realistic.

In competitive video games, such as sports games and digital adaptations of board games, AI controls the computer’s strategy and movement. In this case, how good the AI is influencing how difficult it is for the player to beat the computer.

Ways AI Could Disrupt the Video Game Industry in the Future

Non-static cutscenes

Cutscenes are an important part of developing the narrative in video games, especially in RPGs and other story-focused games.

However, up until this point, cutscenes have been static, meaning the player just watches some stock video footage that explains part of the story by showing an event and/or dialogue. But the player doesn’t interact with the scene in a way that significantly changes it.

Sure, players might get different cutscenes on different playthroughs, depending on the in-game actions they take and the decisions they make in the game, or they might get to choose a dialogue option or a path for their character to take during a cutscene. But, other than that, most cutscenes are largely static and tend to be very repetitive throughout playthroughs.

With the ongoing development of AI technology, particularly voice and facial recognition AI tools, gamers of the future may be able to change the way cutscenes play out by verbally speaking to the non-player characters in them or even by making certain facial expressions or gestures.

More realistic NPC emotions

With more advanced AI in video games, NPCs might be able to express more realistic emotions in response to a full range of in-game events and player actions, instead of just having a few pre-programmed emotional responses to certain situations.

This type of AI could really increase the immersiveness of story- and character-driven games, making the player feel like their actions truly affect NPCs.

For example, let’s say you’re playing a fantasy RPG — something like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

You might choose to buy your character a house in a certain town and really build relationships with your fellow townspeople, thereby making you more invested in protecting the NPCs in that town from attacks by dragons or other enemies.

In short, more powerful AI is most definitely going to allow video game developers to build virtual worlds on a whole other level compared to the games of today.

Harder combat

In combat-oriented games, AI controls how the player’s opponents engage in combat. 

Games like Dark Souls are notorious for having difficult combat, but it’s still possible for the player to learn how the AI works and beat them by recognizing patterns and responding appropriately.

Advanced AI could certainly make video game combat more difficult and realistic than anything we’ve seen to date, allowing computer-controlled opponents to respond in unique ways to the player character’s moves every time.

AI in Gaming: Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Video Game Industry

How Might AI Affect Game Developers?

Beyond the implications AI has for the quality and complexity of video games, AI is also likely to change the way games are developed.

AI certainly has the potential to perform some of the tasks required to develop games, and could even potentially take over some development jobs altogether.

For example, AI could actually learn how to program itself, which means developers wouldn’t have to be as involved in certain aspects of game development.

AI could also save developers a lot of time, especially by helping them generate large open-world games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in a much shorter period of time.

Of course, there will always have to be human developers to edit, test, and refine games, but video game companies may be able to use AI to get games to market faster.

AI in Gaming: Innovations That Will Revolutionize the Video Game Industry

In Conclusion

Considering that AI has been an important part of video games since their inception, and its evolution has led to better and better games, it’s definitely going to keep becoming a bigger part of the video game industry. What effect more advanced AI will have on the video game industry as a whole remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: gamers and devel

Masab Farooque
Masab Farooque is a Tech Geek, Writer, and Founder at The Panther Tech. He is also a lead game developer at 10StaticStudios. When he is not writing, he is mostly playing video games