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Press release

Generative AI will contribute to more than half of video game development within next 5 to 10 years, finds Bain & Company

Generative AI will contribute to more than half of video game development within next 5 to 10 years, finds Bain & Company

Bain survey reveals 60% of gaming executives believe generative AI will not alleviate talent shortage, while just 20% believe it will reduce costs

  • septiembre 14, 2023
  • min read

Press release

Generative AI will contribute to more than half of video game development within next 5 to 10 years, finds Bain & Company

LOS ANGELES—September 14, 2023— More than half of the video game development process will be supported by generative AI within the next five to 10 years, according to new research by Bain & Company.

For its study: “How will Generative AI Change the Video Game Industry,” Bain surveyed 25 gaming executives from around the world and found that while most respondents expect generative AI will improve game quality and deliver games faster, few executives (20%) believe that it will reduce development costs. Additionally, 60% of respondents said that they do not expect generative AI to have a significant impact on talent, and therefore do not believe that it will help to alleviate the industry’s talent shortage.

“Although most executives we spoke with believe generative AI may free developers from mundane work, they do not believe it will replace the creative spark necessary for game development, emphasizing the importance of human oversight,” said Andre James, global head of Bain’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Despite implementation challenges, most respondents expect generative AI will affect gaming in ways that are far greater than impacts felt by other technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and cloud gaming.”

Evolving use cases

Over the next decade, most executives expect that most use cases for generative AI will emerge within the production stage of the game development process, Bain found. This is a switch from the current trend of generative AI mostly being used during preproduction.

Areas where generative AI will soon play a larger role, according to Bain, include story generation and nonplayable characters (NPCs), game assets, live game operations and user-generated content.

Barriers to implementation

Gaming executives believe that system integration is the leading barrier to generative AI implementation within gaming, Bain found. Other pain points to generative AI adoption considered by survey respondents include data training, lack of technical capabilities, lack of regulatory and legal oversight, and costs of implementation.

Long-term challenges that gaming companies face in terms of generative AI include having a lack of AI strategies, having to navigate a landscape that is nascent and complex, implications that arise when trying to implement the technology, and talent retention issues.

“While it’s an exciting time for the industry, games are growing in size and development costs are ballooning,” said Anders Christofferson, leading gaming expert and partner within Bain’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Enter generative AI, which, if harnessed properly, has incredible potential in addressing industry hurdles while at the same time provides capabilities that can benefit creators, publishers, and consumers.”

Four key steps

Four key steps that gaming companies can take to ensure they’re maximizing the full value of generative AI include:

  • Take a disciplined and deliberate approach to generative AI. Executives taking the time to agree on an ambition and approach alongside appropriate guard rails and governance will improve return on investment and limit risk.
  • Base decisions on what will benefit the player. Generative AI can help in many ways, but overreliance could also make it a hindrance. Realize that more content and engagement in a game does not guarantee a better player experience.
  • Strategically assess building vs. buying vs. partnering opportunities. Developer-publishers should carefully assess when to build in-house, when to partner with scale players within the ecosystem and when to partner with smaller, niche players.
  • Recognize this is more than a technological transformation. Companies will need to stand up a new operating model by redesigning existing work processes, creating new processes, addressing downstream implications, and developing generative AI enterprise architecture strategy.


Media contacts

To arrange an interview or for any questions, please contact:

Katie Ware (New York) — Email: katie.ware@bain.com

Gary Duncan (London) — Email: gary.duncan@bain.com

Ann Lee (Singapore) — Email: ann.lee@bain.com

Acerca de Bain & Company

Bain & Company es una consultora global que ayuda a los generadores de cambio más ambiciosos del mundo a definir el futuro. A través de 65 oficinas en 40 países, trabajamos como un solo equipo junto a nuestros clientes para lograr resultados extraordinarios, superar a la competencia y redefinir las industrias. En 2022, cumplimos 25 años en América del Sur, trabajando en estrecha colaboración con empresas líderes en múltiples industrias, experiencia integrada y personalizada que complementamos con un vibrante ecosistema de innovación digital para ofrecer mejores resultados, más rápidos y duraderos.

Como una empresa consciente de los desafíos globales actuales, tenemos como compromiso a 10 años invertir más de 1.000 millones de dólares en servicios pro-bono para llevar nuestro talento, experiencia y conocimiento a las organizaciones que abordan en materia de educación, equidad racial, justicia social, desarrollo económico y medio ambiente. Desde nuestra fundación en 1973, hemos medido nuestro éxito a través del éxito de nuestros clientes, y nosotros orgullosamente mantenemos el nivel más alto de respaldo en la industria.