As 2023 draws to a close, AI seems to be in everything. The gaming industry, projected to reach a $384.90 billion market cap this year, is no exception.

AI has been applied to various aspects of gaming in different genres and types, including everything from online casinos to non-player characters in video games.
In this article, we examine the various ways AI has been infused into different aspects of gaming to enhance the experience and give the video game market the fuel it needs to hit a projected market volume of about $521 billion by 2027.
Let’s dive in.

1. NPCs

NPCs are non-player characters often used as plot devices to help game functions and missions move smoothly and engage players. NPCs are run by algorithms and AI engines, which, given the advancements in technology, are now expected to become even more engaging.
Players can look forward to:
• Advanced AI behavior, where NPCs analyze the environment to interact with it, and players realistically make complex decisions based on context, emotions, and objectives.
• Adaptive NPCs can evolve how they behave, respond, and strategize by learning from the game over time.
• Personalized experiences that include custom missions, rewards at the right time, and dialogue options.
• Dynamic worldbuilding and social interactions with NPCs that can display emotions, engage in simulated activities, form relationships, and respond based on player actions.
An example is Replica’s recently unveiled AI-powered intelligent NPCs for Unreal Engine.

2. Game Analytics

Analyzing games with AI encompasses everything from tracking payer behavior to understanding how to optimize the game to help players trying to quit compulsive gaming, like online casino games. There are several ways AI-enabled analytics can be used to improve player experiences, including:
• Making data-driven decisions to improve game design and monetization.
• Making gameplay adaptive to players regarding difficulty level, pacing, and content.
• Live operations and updates where developers analyze game performance, player sentiment, feedback, and more.
• Predictive analytics where developers can anticipate player needs and church rates and optimize the games to serve the player better.
• Tracking player patterns in online casinos to identify instances of fraud and players exhibiting irresponsible gambling patterns improves game fairness and randomness and enhances security.
The applications for analytics cut across every genre in the gaming industry, offering
Gambling and such

3. Game Design

Designing games is a process that takes months and entire teams of developers and is often incredibly costly. To maintain quality, add new features without impacting the usability and fun feel of the game, and finish games on time, developers can leverage AI in various innovative ways that include:
• Procedural generation- Just like ChatGPT recognizes sentences in context and can answer them with human-like nuance, developers can reduce the manual effort required to create in-game content by leveraging AI to interact with players realistically.
• Player behavior analysis- Analyzing how players interact with the game is an excellent way for developers to discover which parts of the game make it stand out and which create needless friction to optimize the game.
• Smart NPCs- As mentioned earlier, intelligent NPCs make the game more engaging, aiding in storytelling, creating memorable characters, and injecting a realistic feel into game elements.
Using these advancements and more, developers can design game mechanics, challenges, and content that align with player expectations while challenging them with an engaging experience.

4. Player Support

Large Language Models and generative AI tools have come a long way to the heights of ChatGPT 4 in 2023. These tools have been implemented into support systems and tools players use to get more out of their games.
Support, in its most basic form, involves communicating with the game developer in case of an issue. Often, the methods provided may not be helpful, and it could take too long to come back with an answer. LLMs and other chat AI tools can be used to offer the following:
• Instant support to players via voice, text, or even video chat in the near future.
• In-depth answers to questions.
• Walkthroughs to solve an issue at home without ever needing an agent.
Essentially, you get human-level interactions that happen instantly, doing away with wait times and the limited nature of pre-programmed chatbots that are often more infuriating than useful.

5. Eliminating Cheating

Cheating is a massive problem in gaming that continues to get more sophisticated every year. The consequences are often negative and can impact both players and publishers. Many avid gamers feel like they are not protected from players with unfair advantages.
As such, AI is taking center stage in the fight against cheating in games by analyzing the patterns of player movements and keys to detect when users are cheating. Conversely, players who are tech-savvy enough and understand how these AI models work can leverage them to cheat without getting caught.

AI will only continue to take center stage

As we march into the future of gaming, we will see AI play a role in more areas, including VR gaming or the metaverse, generative artificial intelligence for intelligent and hyperrealistic world-building and interactions, cloud-based gaming, and more.
Even as developers and publishers use AI to enhance gameplay, curb cheaters, and engage the audience even more, they have to contend with the realization that almost anyone with access to these tools can use them for mischievous or criminal ends.
One thing is for sure; gamers are about to enter a world of gaming that will constantly evolve and create various environments and experiences.