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AI is the rage, but gaming industry may not be ready to adopt it yet

by Norman Scott

The Tokyo Game Show 2023 is currently underway, focusing on the latest trends and innovations in the gaming industry. While there is a lot of excitement around technologies like generative AI and virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets for game development, some of the biggest game developers in Japan believe that these trends may not be ready yet.

Koei Tecmo, one of Japan’s prominent game developers, has been using conventional algorithmic AI in their games for a long time. However, they admit that challenges still remain when it comes to utilizing generative AI, the latest iteration of AI, in game development. Hisashi Koinuma, the president and chief operating officer of Koei Tecmo Games, stated that they are still in the process of researching and testing various ways to integrate generative AI into their products in the future.

One of the concerns surrounding the integration of generative AI into game development is copyright issues. Koei Tecmo is not the only company facing this challenge. In September, Microsoft informed users of Copilot, its generative AI service, that the company would take legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may occur. This highlights the need for careful consideration of intellectual property rights in the gaming space.

Despite the challenges, the potential of generative AI in the gaming industry is immense. Nvidia demonstrated in August how gamers can interact with non-player characters in new ways through AI-powered natural language interactions. This has the potential to revolutionize the industry and provide players with more immersive and dynamic experiences.

Another trend in the gaming industry is the development of VR/AR headsets. Companies like Apple, Meta, and Sony have made significant advancements in this space. However, many developers feel that the available games for VR/AR headsets do not meet the expectations of the devices. Koinuma, who has been involved in the development of VR games, acknowledges the potential of VR but expresses caution regarding execution. He believes that the market needs more time to cultivate an environment where users can enjoy playing games with new devices for extended periods.

In conclusion, while the Tokyo Game Show 2023 highlights exciting trends like generative AI and VR/AR headsets, some of the biggest game developers in Japan recognize that these technologies may not be ready for widespread integration into game development. Challenges, such as copyright concerns and the need for further advancements in hardware and user experience, need to be addressed before these trends can reach their full potential in the gaming industry. Nonetheless, the future looks promising, and game developers continue to explore ways to enhance the gaming experience through innovative technologies.

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