By Neal Taparia - 07/05/2023
Welcome to the world where pixels and algorithms collide! In this captivating era of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of video game development, revolutionizing the way we play and experience interactive entertainment.
From lifelike virtual characters to dynamic game worlds that adapt to our every move, AI is unprecedentedly shaping the future of video games. Not only could there be a future in which AI characters can be co-players, but it also means that the whole world could be a video game.
In June 2023, we surveyed gamers across America on their thoughts about AI and how it will affect future games, as well as what games they think will be considered “classics” in a few years’ time. While our FreeCell and Spider Solitaire will continue to be classics, there will certainly be new entrants to the group.
AI is making a splash, and the video game world is turning its head: 71% of American gamers are excited to see how AI changes the video game world. Over 2 in 5 think AI has already impacted video games, and over 1 in 2 believe AI will make an impact in the future.
Gamers believe AI will affect video games in a variety of ways; over 1 in 2 think AI signals more interactive capability, and a similar amount also see new modes of storytelling coming to games. 2 in 5 predict that new types of games will be developed, 40% see a future of chatbot co-players, and 37% think games will be designed differently. Not all effects will be positive, however, 30% believe writing quality will decrease, and 1 in 5 think games will also feel cheaper.
When it comes to the quality of video games, 46% believe that AI will increase quality, with the rest more or less evenly split between decreasing quality (26%) and no difference (28%).
One type of game particularly apt to be affected by AI is the role-playing game, or RPG, which involves lots of character interactions. As such, 87% believe AI will change how we approach making RPGs. Some top changes include more interaction with non-player characters (NPCs), opportunities to play multiplayer games with AI co-players, more unique gameplay, a greater diversity of storylines, and longer gameplay.
AI can blend the real world and the world of video games, but it’s not the only technology currently doing this work, both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are immersing gamers in gaming worlds– or bringing gaming into the world around us.
Nearly 3 in 5 American gamers have played a game using VR, and 31% even own a VR headset. That said, only about 18% of gamers are currently playing a game with VR.
AR games are beginning to catch on more as well, particularly with the recent viral popularity of the noted AR phone game Pokémon Go! It’s no surprise then that 71% of gamers have played an AR game, and over 1 in 5 are currently playing an AR game.
AI is ushering in rapid change across the tech sector, and video games are no exception. Which contemporary games will be considered 'classic' in 5 years’ time?
Gamers listed their top 10 classics to be the ever-popular Mario franchise (including Super Mario and Mario Kart), Grand Theft Auto, the Zelda franchise, Minecraft, Call of Duty, Animal Crossing, Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Elden Ring, and the Last of Us. Who can forget characters like Mario, Luigi, or even Princess Peach?
AI will help reimagine the world around us as a potential game setting. What landmarks would be most apt for a redesign? When asked what US landmarks gamers would like to see in a video game, gamers listed the following as their top 10: Alcatraz, the Grand Canyon, Times Square, Niagara Falls, the White House, Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, Hoover Dam, Empire State Building, and Mount Rushmore.
Another way AI can revolutionize video games is to make their worlds even more immersive. Gamers dream most of living in the world of Animal Crossing, followed by Pokémon, Hogwarts Legacy, Final Fantasy, Zelda, the Sims, Super Mario franchise, Grand Theft Auto, Skyrim, and finally Minecraft. Clearly, the adorable palette and cute world of Animal Crossing have appeal!
Some video games depict our world in a futuristic or dystopian light. The most likely scenario, perhaps concerningly, is Grand Theft Auto, with 47% selecting it as the future of the US. Other top potential futures, mostly dystopian, include Call of Duty, The Last of Us, BioShock, and, soothingly, the Sims. Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Mass Effect, Half-Life, and Among Us are also top choices for a potential future.
With so many dystopian futures being presented, it’s a good thing that gamers are already practicing how to navigate those worlds!
In June 2023, we surveyed 1,005 self-identified American gamers on their thoughts on where AI would take video games as well as which video games are modern-day classics. Ages ranged from 18-72 with an average age of 35. Respondents were 46% women, 50% men, and 4% non-binary.
When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing solitaired.com.