In a crucial development that affects the $200 billion games industry, key leaders have revealed to Bloomberg that the embarking leap towards AI has already started. Despite challenging transitions, AI is expected to empower smaller studios, exponentially boost creativity, and benefit gamers globally.
A noteworthy revelation from the head of a significant Japanese studio forecasted that half of the studio’s programmers and designers would become redundant within five years due to AI. Simultaneously, Gala Sports, a Hong Kong-based game studio, has already shelved non-AI research projects and set rewards up to $7,000 for innovative AI concepts.
Gala’s CEO, Jia Xiaodong, expressed concerns over being late in this digital race, noting that the extensive influence of AI on the game industry has sparked a revolutionary transformation within the previous three to four months. This change could compare to the evolution witnessed over the last several decades, Bloomberg reported.
The advent of AI gives the gaming industry a unique opportunity to overhaul its business model, which has become somewhat similar to risk-averse Hollywood. UBS Securities analyst Kenji Fukuyama believes AI can halve the time and financial investment required for mega projects, which currently take years and an enormous pool of staff.
Masaaki Fukuda, who contributed to building the PlayStation Network while at Sony and now is a vice president at Preferred Networks Inc., has certainly noticed the substantial shift in content creation. The company is collaborating with an anime creator, Crypko.
Crypko reduces character illustration costs significantly while providing them at a flat monthly fee.
The influx in the industry, mainly due to its graphics demand, has caused the production costs of mobile games to astronomically rise. Industry veteran Yuta Hanazawa perceives the AI tech so promising that he founded AI Works Inc., which sells machine-drawn game illustrations at half the usual industry price. Hanazawa challenges that AI promises to renew the industry by relieving developers of the bulk of graphical creation, giving birth to a broad variety of games.
While AI has become an increasingly potent in-house tool for companies such as Gala Sports, using AI for several tasks from rendering 3D models to customer service, it threatens to eliminate jobs at an alarming pace.
AI might eventually wipe out entire job categories in gaming, such as quality control, debugging, customer support, or translation, remarked industry analyst Serkan Toto.
Bloomberg reveals that a vivid example of this AI takeover trend is Morikatron Inc, a Tokyo-based gaming firm that recently demonstrated the power of AI in developing Red Ram, an entire game built by AI, leaving an astonishing mark on the future of the gaming industry.
The rapid strides towards AI are hence a double-edged sword, promising to revolutionize the gaming industry while threatening to disrupt the current job scenario. The industry awaits to witness how well it can balance on this tightrope.