Sponsored By

Near half of game devs say they're working with generative AI tools

As generative AI becomes a bigger presence in games, developers use the technology while remaining wary of its impact.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

January 18, 2024

2 Min Read
Promo image from Square Enix's Foamstars.
Image via Square Enix.

At a Glance

  • Despite their mixed feelings on generative AI, most developers admitted to the technology's use where they work.

Generative AI is being used by game developers across multiple departments, not just in-game art and NPCs.

In GDC's 2024 State of the Industry, 49 percent of surveyed developers said those tools are already in use at their workplaces. 31 percent said they're personally using the technology.

15 percent of developers who don't use it admitted to being interested in generative AI. Conversely, 23 percent don't and have zero desire to use it.

Of those that are using it, the majority of said usage (44 percent) is in finance. Community and production management trail close behind at 41 and 33 percent, respectively.

On the low end, generative AI is used least in departments such as QA (6 percent), writing (13 percent), and audio (14 percent).

While triple-A studios have had the bigger headlines about genAI lately, staff at indie developers use it the most, at 37 percent. 21 percent of workers at triple and double-A companies are using it.

In GDC's survey, 51 percent of developers said their companies have AI policies in place and have made usage optional. 2 percent say they're required to use genAI at work, and 12 percent aren't allowed at all.

When asked about its place at work, one developer said genAI could be a boon in code development and engineering. To them, the industry's best "will do so to enhance their processes, not fully replace anything."

A second developer similarly said they hoped technology would help with the workflow and individual artists. Another said it has no place at work, but a fourth joked they'd like genAI to do "all my rigging, because I hate that shit."

Concerns about genAI range from the industry ignoring potential red flags to management using it for "questionable things." Some surveyed called it theft; others think it's inevitable.

At least one developer acknowledged the technology being used to cut corners. But they hope triple-A studios will "quickly realize" the need for a human touch and tools to get work done.

Game Developer and GDC are sibling companies under Informa Tech. The 2024 State of the Industry report was produced in a collaboration between Game Developer and Game Developers Conference.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

Daily news, dev blogs, and stories from Game Developer straight to your inbox

You May Also Like