Artificial intelligence

AI ‘will lead to more games and more jobs’

  • By Steffan Powell
  • Matching games

4 hours ago

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Legend, is a company exploring how AI can be used in storytelling, these characters are part of a demo on how it works

Artificial intelligence will lead to more jobs in the video game industry, one of the bodies representing game developers has told the BBC.

TIGA boss Dr Richard Wilson said AI would “reduce the cost of creating games and speed up the process”.

Video games have used forms of artificial intelligence for decades.

But the use of the latest technology in creating games concerns some who fear that it could cost jobs and create legal problems for the studios.

UKIE, another organization that looks after games companies in the UK, said it recognized there were concerns but added that developments in this area were an “exciting opportunity” for the industry.

Even back in the 1980s, when players put their coins in an arcade machine to help Pacman (or Ms. Pacman) collect white dots on the screen, it was a type of AI that told ghosts how to stalk the player.

“It’s a much simpler form of AI than what we’re talking about today, but fundamentally the basic principles are the same,” says Dr. Tommy Thompson, an expert in AI in games.

“It helps to make smart decisions by looking at a snapshot of a game and from there characters can make smart judgments about what to do.”


Pac-Man was first released in 1980 and used a more basic form of AI to operate non-player characters.

But while AI has been used to influence what happens on screen for years, now it could be influencing the process of getting games to screens in the first place.

Being able to quickly create hundreds of pages of scripts, voice background characters, or draw thousands of pieces of artwork could be a game-changer for the industry, some senior executives say.

“This should allow game studios to automate common aspects of game development and then use that space to be more creative and focus on other areas,” says Dr. Wilson.

“Reducing the overall cost of development will mean more game studios, which should therefore mean more jobs.”

Guy Gadney, one of the co-founders of, a tech platform that enables generative AI techniques in games, believes it will give makers a new way to tell stories.

It all depends on how the computer-controlled characters can interact with the player.

Instead of a handful of pre-made lines that are regurgitated at random players, the AI ​​can allow characters like these to “think” and respond more intelligently based on the story that has been written for them and the behavior of the player.

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The Kraken Wakes is an example of a game that uses AI to control non-playable characters

He explains: “In games, players often run around in the three-dimensional environment, we want people to stop and engage more.

“We want players to dive deep into the moments when they sit down and have natural conversations with characters. Previously, this happened by giving you four on-screen conversation choices, which is very limited, it’s just an illusion of choice. We want more than that.”

For Guy Gadney, unleashing the potential of non-playable characters will change the way games tell stories, allowing players to interact with what’s in front of them differently than they do now. is also working with companies like Warner, Dreamworks and Sky on how this technology could work in other forms of storytelling as well.

This week BBC News focuses on AI, how the technology affects our lives and what impacts it could have in the near future.

Dr. Tommy Thompson, who also has a dedicated YouTube channel for AI in games, is excited about the technology’s potential. But he also warns that the industry must be careful.

He says using widely available, open-source AI tools in their current form in games “isn’t practical” for studios.

“Who owns the copyright? With the generation of images for example, there are several lawsuits going on where people ask if their art was used as the basis for the creation of images, and was the proper consent given?

“If you generate assets for your game using certain AI platforms, you don’t own any of those copyrights on a legal basis. If you were to ship that game, anyone could use those assets and put them in another game and there would be no legal basis to stop them. The law will say, ‘Well, actually, you don’t own any copyrights.'”

Some game studios are creating their own AI platforms to work around these issues, but it’s time-consuming and expensive. For small game companies that might be attracted to open-source AI tools, the risks currently outweigh the benefits, according to Dr. Thompson.

“I think it’s important that we take a step back and look at the wider implications of this,” he says.

“It’s not something that’s going to be solved overnight. That’s not to say that generative AI tools aren’t being used internally in studios in new and really interesting ways, but I don’t think it’s going to be the Nirvana that people imagine.”

In a statement to the BBC, Daniel Wood, co-CEO of UKIE, said: “The video games industry is always at the cutting edge of technology, so we are already using AI in many areas including production, art, interaction with game characters and community management to create even more exciting and engaging experiences for our players.

“While the UKIE and the wider industry will continue to address topics such as copyright and the rapidly changing skills needs of games businesses, the future possibilities of AI promise many exciting opportunities for our sector.”

For more gaming stories, listen to Press X to continue on BBC Sounds.

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