Generative AI Won’t Revolutionize Game Development

Generative AI in Video Games: The Hype and the Reality The games industry is abuzz with the potential of generative AI to revolutionize game development. But is the hype justified?

Developers are in the business of building worlds, and the promise of generative AI is that it could automate tedious tasks, allowing small teams to create maps the size of San Andreas. But there are two related problems with this narrative: the logic of the hype itself and the gap between the pronouncements and reality.

Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz posted an analysis on their website touting a “generative AI revolution in games” that would do everything from shorten development time to change the kinds of titles being made. But Patrick Mills, the acting franchise content strategy lead at CD Projekt Red, the developer of Cyberpunk 2077, has seen “ludicrous claims” about what generative AI can do. For example, he has seen people suggest that AI could build out Night City – the setting of the game. “I think we’re a ways off from that,” he says.

Those advocating for generative AI in video games think a lot of the excited talk about machine learning in the industry is getting out of hand. Julian Togelius, codirector of the NYU Game Innovation Lab, has authored dozens of papers on the topic. He believes that it’s “ridiculous” to think that generative AI can do everything from design weapons to write dialog to design levels. He explains that while AI could create generic weapons or write some dialog, it is “fiendish” to design levels, and a broken game level, no matter how magical it looks, is useless. “It is bullshit,” he says, “You need to throw it out or fix it manually.”

So while generative AI has potential to revolutionize game development, there are still many challenges that need to be solved. It’s important to recognize the hype and be realistic about what generative AI can and cannot do.

Categorized as AI

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