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AI revolutionizes $200 billion games industry

The gaming industry, worth $200 billion, is being reshaped by artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Companies around the world are adopting and developing new AI tools as a response to escalating costs and stagnant prices. This shift is anticipated to have a significant impact on hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The digital entertainment sphere, with companies from San Francisco to Tokyo and Hong Kong, is leading the way in implementing AI technology. While the changes may be painful, industry leaders believe that they can empower smaller studios, spur creativity, and ultimately benefit gamers worldwide.

Many studio executives are preparing for a future where AI will render a significant portion of their programming and design jobs unnecessary. Some companies have already redirected resources towards AI research, training employees in machine learning, and offering rewards for innovative AI ideas. The fear of falling behind in this rapidly evolving landscape is a constant concern.

The video game industry is at the forefront of AI adoption due to its digital nature and the expertise of software engineers in utilizing new computing tools. AI has the potential to transform the business model of the industry, which has been criticized for becoming bloated and formulaic, similar to the risk-averse Hollywood system. The exorbitant costs of game production, such as Sony’s reported $200 million investment in recent blockbusters, can be significantly reduced through AI. UBS Securities analyst Kenji Fukuyama estimates that AI can cut costs and development time in half.

AI is not only impacting game production costs but also changing how digital content is created. Companies like Crypko and AI Works are using AI to generate game illustrations, reducing the need for outsourcing expensive artwork. These companies rely on human artists to finalize the AI-generated content, but improvements in AI technology are expected to minimize imperfections in the near future.

AI is also becoming an essential in-house tool for game development. Gala Sports, for example, has used publicly available AI services to develop internal toolkits that enhance coding, design, and customer service. However, the automation brought about by AI technology may result in job losses, particularly in areas like quality control, debugging, customer support, and translation.

Despite the potential job losses, industry experts see AI as a game-changer that can revitalize the gaming industry. Publishers will be able to take more risks, creators can unleash their creativity, and users can have access to a wider variety of games. Some developers envision a future where everyone can create their own games, challenging the existing freemium model in the industry.

While AI brings opportunities for growth and transformation, it is also met with concerns. Voice actors and industry professionals worry that AI will make it harder for young people to enter the business. The future implications of AI in gaming are already being demonstrated, as shown by Tokyo-based Morikatron’s AI-generated murder mystery game, Red Ram.

In conclusion, AI is revolutionizing the gaming industry by driving innovation, reducing costs, and transforming the way games are created. While the changes may lead to job losses, industry leaders believe that the benefits outweigh the challenges, paving the way for a more creative and diverse gaming landscape. Bloomberg

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