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AI technology is fueling the rapid growth of the video gaming industry

2024.05.04 18:50:21 Hyun Been Bae

[Image of video game, Credit to unsplash]

The video game industry has shown remarkable growth in recent years, becoming a significant player in the entertainment field.


The industry grew significantly as technology constantly contributed to visually stunning, immersive, and technically sophisticated games.


According to Vantage Market Research's analysis in 2023, the industry was valued at $245.9 billion in 2022 with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.6% from 2023 to 2030, reaching $682 billion by 2030.


Key drivers of this growth include the proliferation of technological advancements, the increasing popularity of mobile games, and the growing demand for online and multiplayer games.


New initiatives such as Netflix Gaming's cloud gaming service aim to improve member experience by testing streaming technology and controllers.


Last year, in 2023, Mike Verdu, the Vice President of Netflix Gaming, released a limited beta version to test the cloud gaming service.


The goal of the beta version was stated on the company's website: "to test game streaming technology and controllers and to improve member experience over time."


Additionally, the increasing proportion of female gamers, reaching 46% in the Asia-Pacific and MENA regions, indicates the growing inclusivity of the gaming industry.


This trend is expected to further increase the share of female gamers in the gaming population in the future.


Meanwhile, competitive video game events, known as esports, attract large audiences and drive industry growth, particularly in the Asia-Pacific, MENA, and LATAM regions.


Technological innovation also plays a crucial role; innovations like AI brought fundamental changes to game development and gameplay.


Brendan, the editor-in-chief of GamesIndustry.biz, mentioned that AI would fundamentally change how games are developed and played.


Teams like Nvidia's AI research team are teaching AI agents to perform tasks such as swimming, collecting plants, hunting pigs, mining gold, and building houses in Minecraft, showcasing the increasing utility of AI technology.


Columbia University of Technology has identified video games as a key industry that will be transformed by AI technology.


According to global advertising company director Eric Nesser, the use of video games and AI technology is employed to enhance computer graphics and to create 'smart' opponents for players to battle.


He mentioned that the most practical and active applications of AI are achieved in combination with technologies like real-time ray tracing, enriching the in-game experience, and offering players more challenging and realistic interactions.


Furthermore, Greg Brockman, founder of OpenAI, stated in an interview with the New York Times that video games have always been a benchmark for AI, and if one cannot solve games, one cannot solve anything else.


The video game industry continues to experience sustained growth and change through technological advancement, diversification of the market, exploration of new forms of social interaction, and integration of artificial intelligence.


These factors drive the industry to not only transcend entertainment but also become a forefront for social and technological innovation.


Various components make video games unique and engaging: storytelling, art and design, sound and music, interface and controls, technology and engine, and difficulty and reward systems.


These elements can be combined and emphasized differently during the game development process, depending on the type of game, its purpose, and its target audience.


Popular video games showcase the advancement of technology and innovation by using those elements.


For example, Minecraft by Mojang Studios, one of the best-selling games worldwide, allows players to freely explore, build, and survive in a blocky, sandbox world.


This game has garnered widespread popularity across all age groups.


In July 2023, The New York Times reported that Russian players recreated the battle of Soledar, a Ukrainian city occupied by Russian forces in January, and shared gameplay footage on VKontakte, Russia's most popular social media network, utilizing the ongoing Russia-Ukraine information war within video games.


Similarly, the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series, developed by Rockstar Games in 1997, has become one of the most influential series in video game history, thanks to its innovations in graphics, storytelling, and gameplay.


According to The New York Times (2008), "Grand Theft Auto 4" surpassed $500 million in sales in its first week, exceeding analysts' revenue expectations.


The series, known for its open-world style, allows players to explore virtual cities freely while engaging in various criminal activities.


Notably, the official trailer for GTA V featured songs like "Radio Ga Ga" by Queen and "Sleepwalking" by The Chain Gang of 1974, which significantly enhanced the game's atmosphere and storytelling.


On the other hand, "The Witcher" series, based on a Polish fantasy novel series, provides deep storytelling and compelling characters by following the complex tale of the monster hunter Geralt.

The game has been highly successful, winning numerous game awards.


Its cultural impact and commercial success can be attributed not only to the quality of the game itself but also to the support from fans of Andrzej Sapkowski's original novel series and the acquisition of new fans through the subsequent Netflix TV series adaptation.


Thus, video games offer players the opportunity to explore vast open worlds, featuring complex and charismatic characters, deep storytelling, and player-inclusive gameplay.


The continued growth of the video game industry demonstrates its evolution into a significant social and economic phenomenon beyond entertainment. Games have become essential platforms of cultural, educational, and social interaction with innovative gaming experiences continually emerging alongside technological advancements.


Cloud gaming, VR/AR, and the utilization of artificial intelligence will play crucial roles in shaping the future of the gaming industry.


This growth signifies that the video game industry is at the forefront of innovation, presenting various opportunities ahead.


The gaming industry is constantly evolving and changing, offering endless possibilities for adaptation and innovation to both companies and developers.

Hyun Been Bae / Grade 11
Woodberry Forest School