Home Players allege Apex Legends is using AI art in its new Final Fantasy trailer

Players allege Apex Legends is using AI art in its new Final Fantasy trailer

Hot on the heels of Square Enix saying it was going to embrace the world of AI and the gaming world in general being offended by any company that does actually use AI to help create its games (The Finals and The Day Before have recently been attacked for employing Artificial Intelligence in its projects), Apex Legends is now under fire for potentially engaging an AI artist to work on a recent trailer.

Whether prompted by Square’s announcement or just because everybody on the internet is constantly looking for upvotes and likes some recent game art from the Apex Legends and Final Fantasy VII collab has come under scrutiny for potentially using an AI art generator. 

A thread on Reddit has turned into a pile-on on devs Respawn and Electronic Arts, even though it is not totally clear the images are AI in the first place.

The fuss centers around three images the poster has circled that show areas that would not have been produced by a human artist.

The bigger picture here is perhaps not whether the images are AI-generated or not, but rather this is going to continue to happen as it is not only cheaper but much quicker for studios to use AI art and it is not going to go away.

Should a studio be forced to explicitly state whether every image it produces is either AI-generated or not? Does it matter? The implications for human artists from Artificial Intelligence image generation are well known. Just as boardrooms are often going to take a cheaper option if it exists. Would transparency help or would people just complain when AI is used, even if it is explicitly highlighted?

An image alleged to us AI art generation

Image courtesy of u/moyamoya-kimochi (Reddit)

The argument that EA/Respawn may be saving money by not paying humans to produce artwork is simplified. Both companies will have artists on the payroll, although the positions are definitely more at risk than this time last year. But is AI art more offensive to players than unscrupulous microtransaction practices and cosmetic skins costing a small fortune in an Item Shop?

Reddit user r/furiosa27 points out. “It’s not virtue signaling to say you dislike this cheaply made product. They are going to charge the same amount they do for work with paid artists except you’ll just be getting an inferior output and get none of their massive savings.

It’s no wonder the industry looks like this when so many people are eager to defend or hand wave away every anti-consumer practice these companies enact.”

The AI genie is out of the bottle and it is not going back in. We are now in a world where every image from a game dev is being scrutinized to see if there are suggestions it has not been human-generated. If you are a real artist, you had better be good at drawing fingers or you are going to find yourself in the middle of a backlash.

Expect to see plenty more stories like this one in the coming weeks and months.

Featured Image: Respawn

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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