Magic: The Gathering creator Wizards of the Coast has been caught out by fans for including AI art in its latest promotional marketing.
Two weeks into the new year and Wizards of the Coast has already issued an apology to some eagle-eyed fans who managed to spot signs of AI art in some recent marketing materials.
"Well, we made a mistake earlier when we said that a marketing image we posted was not created using AI," Wizards of the Coast explained in a Twitter post. "As you, our diligent community pointed out, it looks like some AI components that are now popping up in industry standard tools like Photoshop crept into our marketing creative, even if a human did the work to create the overall image."
I guess the whole ad campaign was made with A/I generated imagery, then retouched to give it a semblance of man-made craft. pic.twitter.com/St5bXhcXfuJanuary 6, 2024
The card publisher goes onto acknowledge that while this artwork came from a vendor, "it's on us to make sure that we are living up to our promise to support the amazing ingenuity that makes Magic great."
Some artists have understandably reacted to this controversy with some caution. One such case is Jason Rainville, a freelance illustrator who has previously worked on Magic: The Gathering. In a Twitter post Rainville explains how he is "going to keep an eye on what the evaluation of their relationship with vendors is going forward. And if those ads are going to be removed or replaced."
This isn't the first time Wizards of the Coast has been accused by fans on Twitter for using AI art tools. In early December 2023 some fans spotted an armless dwarf in the D&D Player's Handbook. While it's still not clear whether this art has been generated using AI tools or if this dwarven warrior is simply using an animated shield after losing an arm in battle, it is slightly conspicuous.
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Elie is a Features Writer for TechRadar Gaming, here to write about anything new or slightly weird. Before writing for TRG, Elie studied for a Masters at Cardiff University JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs or editing the gaming section for their student publications.
Elie’s first step into gaming was through Pokémon but they've taken the natural next step in the horror genre. Any and every game that would keep you up at night is on their list to play - despite the fact that one of Elie’s biggest fears is being chased.