Report Reveals How Many Game Studios Are Using AI

A new report released by engine maker Unity has revealed that 62% of surveyed game studios use AI in one way or another to aid in development. Unity's findings come after the gaming community has reacted unfavorably to the use of AI in recent months.

In December, an official Xbox Twitter account appeared to use AI to create a promotional image, which featured strange details like mustachioed children and incorrectly shaped objects. This was probably an individual employee's decision rather than a company-wide one, but fans were understandably frustrated, especially after seeing that the tweet was attempting to celebrate indie game development. Additionally, Magic: The Gathering developer Wizards of the Coast found itself in hot water earlier this year when it used AI to create promotional images. However, the majority of AI-using game studios are harnessing the technology in ways other than marketing.

Unity reports that the surveyed studios use AI mainly for prototyping, concepting, asset creation, and worldbuilding. The report further explains that game development continues to become a longer process, as 2022's average time-to-launch for a game was 218 days compared to 2023's 304 days. In response to this, studios are utilizing the power of AI to streamline certain processes. Of the developers that use AI, 46% said they use it to improve character animation, 37% use it to accelerate writing code, and 36% use it to either generate artwork and levels, test gameplay loops, or automate narrative elements. Overall, 71% of studios that use AI say it has improved their operations.

62% of Surveyed Game Developers Use AI

The survey further details that 56% of AI-adopting developers harness AI to help with worldbuilding in their games. Of that 56%, 64% of surveyed developers use it to help create NPCs and 54% use it to help create "one-of-a-kind experiences." Unity also asked AI-using developers what genres they create games for, with the top answers being AR/VR (29%), online multiplayer (28%), casual (27%), and open world (25%). The least common answers were first-person shooter (15%), puzzle (16%), and educational (19%).

However, other surveyed companies expressed reluctance to adopt AI, unlike Square Enix and its gung-ho approach to the new technology. Unity's report included a poll taken in 2023 that found 38% of studios hadn't begun implementing AI for a variety of reasons. These included not having enough time (43%), not having the appropriate technical skills (24%), and "I didn't know that it was possible" (20%). However, it's likely that the percentage of non-AI studios has decreased since 2023.

If one thing seems certain, it's that the use of AI is unavoidable in the future of game development. Its use is already extending to post-launch support as well, through tools like NVIDIA's AI upscaling technology and Microsoft's recently announced AI optimization tool.

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and this is why there are layoffs


They probably all are now cuz it's easier and they don't have to pay someone now lol