What does AI mean for the future of gaming in Asia?

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AI is becoming central to game development. A high number of companies throughout the continent have been quick to adopt AI for developmental and game-enhancement purposes.

For example, China's second biggest games developer, NetEase, made non-player characters (NPCs) AI-powered in last year's Justice Online game. This meant that players could hold unique conversations with characters in the game. Like ChatGPT, the NPCs in this game generate unique responses based on player prompts.

This made the gameplay more personal and unique to each player, which is one way in which AI will shape the future of gaming in Asia – by expanding the possibilities of narrative and game structure.

This level of AI adoption is not limited to video games. Developers of other forms of gaming entertainment, such as online casinos, have been able to enhance the gaming experience through the power of AI.

Several online casinos available in Malaysia, for example, have adopted AI to deliver better customer support, personalized gameplay, and improved security. The online gambling sites highlighted by Bintang Tiong also come with big bonuses and fast withdrawals.

There has also been a rise in video and online casino game developers utilizing AI technology to improve the graphics, title cards, and promotional materials for a game.

For example, the Japanese gaming company Level-5, which is known for its Professor Layton and Ni no Kuni games, uses Stable Diffusion, an AI model, to complete title screens and characters. The company submits draft copies to the AI tool so it can build and improve upon them.

Level-5 then employs another AI tool, SwinIR, an image restoration tool, to enhance the quality and appearance of its images and graphics. This saves the company a lot of time and money - it also means that the finished product looks as good as possible.

As such AI tools become more readily available, more Asian game companies will adopt them. The AI market in Asia is expected to grow at a significant rate over the next five years, with a predicted CAGR growth rate of 39.93% between now and 2029. This growth will manifest in more game developers using AI tools.

While AI makes game development more cost-effective and quicker for gaming companies, it does hurt the game development job market. 70% of illustrators reportedly lost their jobs last year in China, while a recent poll revealed that 58% of Japanese illustrators fear that their jobs will be replaced by AI.

One thing that Asian-based gaming companies have so far been reluctant to experiment with is programming an AI tool to generate an entire game. However, this is one usage of AI that will become more prominent in the near future, at least to some extent.

Soon, it's likely that more Asian-based game developers will use generative AI to create limitless gaming worlds. Once a game developer has designed the basic layout and environment for a video game, they can program an AI tool to develop this world further and to an infinite extent.

The AI tool could be programmed to expand the universe while keeping the layout unique and interesting. By doing so, AI has the power to create a potentially limitless game. While human input would still be needed to design the basics, AI could be left to do the rest.

AI will also take over several testing and quality-assurance-related jobs. Instead of manually looking through a game for glitches and errors, AI technology could be programmed to find all potential bugs. This would be more efficient than doing it manually and would provide more accurate results, mitigating the risk of publishing a glitch-ridden game.

Credit: Company

What does AI mean for the future of gaming in Asia?
Photo: Company