Valve recently announced that they will allow games made with assistance from generative AI tools on Steam as long as the use of it has been divulged by game developers. This new revelation will be revealing, as we are probably about to be astonished at the number of games that use AI.

3,000 game developers participated in a Survey from the organizers of the Game Developers Conference that encompassed various departments, the data shows a worrying amount of use already…a staggering 31% of respondents said that they use generative AI in their work.

Notable results of the Game Developers Survey include:

  • 4 in 5 developers have ethical concerns about Generative AI
  • 56% of developers are worried about future layoffs
  • 26% of AAA developers have games being adapted into movies or shows
  • +26% increase in games with accessibility measures

At present, the use of Generative AI tools is most controversial when used to generate artwork, writing, and voices that players directly experience. One such case is, the upcoming Square Enix game Foamstars has been heavily criticized for using Midjourney to generate some of its assets.

Responses about AI use in GDC’s 2024 developer survey. (Image credit: GDC)

The top job roles for respondents were game design and programming/engineering, especially with younger developers. Almost half of 18–24-year-olds surveyed reported working in game design (45%) or programming (43%). One-tenth of respondents noted additional job roles that weren’t on the list. These included educators and students, technical artists, C-suite executives, and game researchers. Several respondents said they occupy roles that specialize in services like accessibility, localization, talent acquisition, and Generative AI.

Although developers seem to be uncertain about the industry impact of Generative AI, they are quite certain about the ethical impact. A large majority (84%) of developers indicated they were somewhat or very concerned about the ethics of using Generative AI, while 12% stated they had no concerns.

Game Developers

In the question section of the survey, developers were asked a key question, here were some of the responses:

What concerns do you have about Generative AI, and what can be done to address them?

“Management will seriously think that they can replace artists or pay artists less for their work. 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.” “People need to adapt and it’s hard for some. Some will be refusing the change.”

“As an industry, we do a lousy job of crediting and acknowledging actual, human creators for their work and contributions to projects. This won’t help.”

“It’s theft, plain and simple, and since it’s ‘fancy and high tech’ no one seems to care about copyright or ethics. Public shaming hasn’t seemed to work, so we need actual regulation.”

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