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Video game studios that disclose they used AI for making their games almost always face a backlash. What if you were told that your favorite video game was also created using AI which the developer failed to disclose? Will it make you to stop liking that game? The GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry report is out, and it packs a punch.

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

According to the report, over 3,000 developers across triple-A and indie video game studios participated in the survey. The GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry survey is the 12th edition of the annual report. The report was produced in collaboration with Omdia. This collaboration helped them to “analyze the survey data, providing more detailed insights” than they have ever done before.

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“This past year has been challenging for the game industry,” explained the report in the opening paragraph. “Several studios have closed their doors and thousands of developers have been laid off, as increased studio conglomeration impacts the work landscape and perspective job market. Generative AI appears poised to increase productivity, though some fear the technology could lead to more upheaval.”

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

The latest survey shows that PC remains the most preferred development platform for video game studios. At least, 66% of the respondents said they were developing games for PC while PlayStation 5 came a distant second at 35% and almost tied with Xbox Series X|S at 34%.

Video game studios still prefer Unity or Unreal Engine

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

It was interesting to know that 33% of video game developers preferred Unity or Unreal Engine as their primary toolset. After the backlash last year following the amendment to the runtime policy, many video game developers threatened to leave Unity for other game development engines. However, that has not been the case.

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The survey showed that most video game developers still prefer Unity as much as Unreal Engine. Coming in a distant third are developers using proprietary or in-house engines. Interestingly, 3% said they made use of Gadot, an open-source game engine. However, it appears more video game studios (28%) are considering making the switch to other engines.

“We’ve thought about switching to Gadot—or making our own—to not have to worry about shady business practices or the whims of shareholders,” said one of the respondents.

Video game developers also talked about the elephant in the room

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

The use of generative AI in the video game industry is still a slippery slope. We have always known that several studios must have already started experimenting with generative AI. However, not all of them are confident enough to openly talk about it because of potential backlash.

The GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry survey has now given us a hint as to how much generative AI tools have been embraced in the video game industry. Video game developers were asked if they use generative AI tools like Midjourney, Copilot, GitHub, and ChatGPT. As much as 49% confirmed they use them while 15% said they don’t use generative AI but were interested.

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According to the GDC 2024 State of the Game Industry survey, the industry that currently uses generative AI the most is banking and finance while quality assurance is still trailing far behind. The report also mentioned that 37% of indie developers are more likely to use generative AI tools which is significantly higher than the 21% of developers in triple-A and AA studios.

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

When asked what application of generative AI they would want to see in the future, one of the respondents said, “None. AI exploits the work of others without credit or payment and is a net loss to true creativity.”

49% Of Video Game Studios Use AI Tools But Only A Few Disclose It

There is a mixed reaction among video game developers when it comes to how they think generative AI will impact the game industry. At least 84% of developers were concerned about the ethical use of generative AI in the video game industry.

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“Management will seriously think that they can replace artists or pay artists less for their work,” one of the respondents said when asked to express their concerns about the use of generative AI in the video game industry. “They are already doing questionable things while the tech is still being developed. I expect artists to be laid off in full once the tech becomes proven.”

It is really hard to argue that the massive layoffs in different video game studios have nothing to do with the increasing adoption of generative AI.


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