Apex Legends AI Art Controversy in FF7 Rebirth Event Raises Industry Concerns

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The controversy surrounding the use of AI-generated art in Apex Legends’ Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth event has generated considerable discussion and concern in the gaming community. Announced during the 2023 Video Game Awards and launched on January 6, 2024, the event’s promotional materials were the basis of this issue. Fans and artists have leveled accusations against the game’s developers, suspecting that some of the promotional art was generated by AI, particularly in a recent trailer.​​​​

Art director and designer Torsten Denk was one of the first to express concern, pointing to specific artwork in the promotional material that he said was generated by AI. He expressed his dismay at the possibility of AI being used instead of commissioning artists and shared screenshots of the art in question to illustrate his point.​​​​

The controversy drew reactions from various artists and members of the gaming community, including Rainbow Six Siege Elevate community artist KOOBI, who expressed surprise and disappointment, especially given Apex Legends’ history of working with talented artists. This opinion reflects a wider debate about the use of AI in artistic creation, particularly in contexts where artists have traditionally been employed.​​​​

As of now, neither Respawn Entertainment nor EA, the developer and publisher of Apex Legends, respectively, have addressed these allegations officially. The lack of response has left many in the gaming community waiting for clarification on the matter.​​​​

On a related note, Apex Legends developer Daniel Klein criticized some players’ abusive behavior towards Respawn developers. He stressed that such negativity, including personal attacks and insults, has caused some developers to avoid direct communication with the community. This toxic environment raises concerns about the impact of player feedback on developers, highlighting the importance of respectful interaction in gaming communities.​​​​​​​​

Image source: Shutterstock

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