AI NPCs in the highly anticipated GTA6

GTA6 released its first trailer on December 5, 2023, and with $2 billion and a decade of development behind it, people are looking forward to the biggest game of all time. Along with a vast open world and plenty of interaction, one thing people are looking forward to is AI NPCs.

According to leaked information, a system called AIMemory will allow NPCs to remember players' actions and decisions so that they can interact with them. The company has also patented a game system using high-performance AI in the cloud, which is expected to be introduced in GTA6.

Patent: System and method for virtual navigation in a gaming environment

How AI NPCs have evolved since the advent of ChatGPT

In April of last year, Stanford published a study on generative AI agent interactions, in which NPCs in a Sims-like game environment were asked to act based on basic information such as name, age, and occupation.

Surprisingly, the NPCs were able to make plans and interact with other NPCs, showing unprogrammed interactions such as setting up a Valentine's party, having other NPCs help, handing out invitations, and calling friends.

Demo video of the research

As this research shows, advances in artificial intelligence have raised the possibility and expectation of AI agents: games with NPCs that can learn, remember, and interact on their own through generative AI. One such game application of AI NPCs was a GTA5 mod using Inworld AI.

Inworld AI is a platform that allows you to create and freely interact with highly personalized AI characters. In the mod that featured this technology, players could play through a new story campaign as a police officer and have a variety of free-flowing conversations with 30 AI NPCs in real time. It allowed for a high level of interaction with a variety of characters, including cult members, cunning police officers, and unsuspecting civilians, but has now been removed by the game's creators.

7c0f2a gitbanner
link to mode

We don't know the details, but Take-Two has a history of removing mods when they overlap with their upcoming games, which has led gamers to speculate that GTA 6 will feature AI NPCs that can freely interact with players.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has announced plans to partner with Inword AI to create an AI NPC creation tool that can be utilized on Xbox and other platforms, as well as made available to designers and developers. It seems likely that 2024 will see more attempts by individuals and businesses to utilize AI chatbots and AI NPCs.

Xbox and InWorld Partnership Hero asset
link to the article about partnership

Hurdles for AI NPCs

There are still many hurdles that need to be cleared before AI NPCs can become a massively successful feature. Here are three of the most important ones, in my opinion.

  • Gamability issues: The more freedom AI NPCs have, the more narrative and coherence they can break down in your game.
  • Quality issues: Due to natural language processing and halting, AI NPCs can give answers that break the immersion of the game.
  • Resource issues: The cloud or device power required to run a large number of NPCs as AI agents can be overwhelming.

These are just a few of the issues that will need to be overcome, including ethical ones. Well-planned games and means of controlling the level of involvement of AI agents may be possible, but if the game grows to a larger scale, we will face even bigger problems.

AI NPC Predictions for 20

As on-device AI platforms with AI chips are built and ways to utilize them are developed, local AI as well as cloud AI can be utilized to implement and support AI agents. As the performance of AI models improves, it will be possible to implement AI NPCs with fewer resources. The technological advancements in 2024 are expected to pave the way for various ideas utilizing AI Agents.

GTA 6 is scheduled for release in 2025, which is still more than a year away, so we're looking forward to more advanced technology and AI to deliver an open-world game like we've never seen before.