The gaming industry continues to experience astronomical growth driven in part by increased interest in online gaming and, for the most part, advances in technology. One key innovation that is at the helm of the rapid transformation the industry is experiencing is AI. AI technology uses algorithms and intelligent systems to perform human tasks in a wide range of fields. In gaming, it has helped enhance online security and make gaming experiences more realistic, adaptive, and personalized. Here is a complete look at the impact AI technology has had on specific gaming areas and how it is shaping the future of online game development and consumption.
AI game development remains somewhat controversial. Supports laud the technology’s money, time, and resource-saving capabilities while detractors decry the replacement of human input and creativity. Whatever side of the argument you fall on, it is undeniable that AI technology has significantly changed how video games are conceived and developed today.
Video games tend to feature hundreds if not thousands of music, clothing, characters, character abilities, and 3D renderings. Developing each of these assets separately is a resource-heavy and time-consuming process that can set a studio back millions of dollars.
This is why some companies are enabling developers to produce the assets on a large scale for less money and faster. This process is completed through AI, where systems are trained to turn prompts and previously learned storylines into gaming elements and narratives in different artistic styles.
A great example of this application is AI Dungeon 2 – a text-based fantasy story game with endless possibilities and adventures. Through AI, players can turn text prompts into progress, actions, and content in the game’s environment. Many players find the unpredictability very exciting.
AI and Big Data also have key repercussions for security on online gaming platforms. The same technology that studies your user behavior on gaming sites can be used to identify odd patterns. For instance, if a user places too many wrong password entries or visits pages your user profile shows you do not prefer, AI can flag their actions as suspicious. The system can then prevent access to the user until they can prove they are authorized to use the account. This application has significantly reduced cyberattack incidents, allowing gamers to play online slots and other casino games on Betway without worrying about the safety of their personal and financial data.
AI-powered simulations have proven more realistic than traditional game examples. AI has immense capabilities that are being harnessed to enhance the audio and visual aspects of games to make them look and feel more realistic and natural. Through predictive analysis, AI systems are even able to provide real-time lighting in gaming environments and power virtual gaming. AI also improves images and graphics to the extent that they resemble real-life versions, making games even more realistic.
AI and Big Data have found a way to harness all the data gamers create when they play their favorite games. Every keystroke and selection you make online is used to create a user profile through which your gaming provider can personalize your options. Essentially, this application is more realistic on online gaming and casino platforms, where the gaming model is not predetermined by the developer. AI can help optimize your homepage so you only see tournaments or games you like to play.
Intelligent, Adaptive NPCs
Most video games have pre-programmed non-player characters (NPCs) that act and interact with your avatar in automated ways you cannot control. And while NPCs are a key part of online gaming, their programmed actions and speech can make the game predictable, easy to beat, and even downright boring. AI is helping make these characters smarter and more adaptive. By allowing NPCs to evolve, learn, and improve, the technology allows them to respond to your strategies and moves so they are no longer predictable. SEED (EA), for instance, is using simulated strategies from top players to train NPCs to learn and adapt to players, including to make conversation.
If you have a game developer friend, they might have asked you at some point to beta-test a game they were developing. Game development usually involves a playtesting period where beta testers play an unreleased version of a game and identify bugs and glitches that the developer must fix before release. AI has since automated this process, using its ability to process millions of data points to identify and remove said glitches, saving hundreds of man-hours and resources.
A final but key application of AI applies more to traditional sports and esports betting. In collaboration with Big Data, AI can provide analytics models that could help product gamer and player behaviors in competitions. These analyses could then be combined with machine learning and statistical techniques to predict the winning team even before a game starts. The technology is already seeing valid application, with regular AI-powered predictions for league competitions like the EPL.
Way Forward for AI in Gaming
AI offers immense and infinite opportunities for growth and application in the gaming industry. There is a continually-expressed concern that the technology could completely replace human input in video gaming. And while the worry is genuine, used responsibly, AI could make gaming more realistic, immersive, and enjoyable. Perhaps the thing to look forward to most in this area is the collaboration between AI technology and the Metaverse and how it may change the gaming landscape.