Call of Duty Dev Treyarch Could Start Using AI in Art Development

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Treyarch, renowned for its contributions to the Call of Duty franchise, has sparked controversy with a recent job posting suggesting a potential shift towards incorporating AI-generated art in its games. While the posting doesn’t explicitly mention Call of Duty, Treyarch’s exclusive focus on the franchise for over 15 years raises speculation about its intentions.

Established with Olympic Hockey ’98 for the N64, Treyarch entered the Call of Duty realm with Call of Duty 2: Big Red One in 2005. Since Call of Duty: World at War in 2008, the studio has been dedicated solely to the franchise, producing ten titles between 2010 and 2023, including the acclaimed Call of Duty: Black Ops series.

The job posting, discovered by CharlieIntel on Twitter, seeks a 2D Artist/Animator proficient in digital illustration, motion design, and the use of generative AI tools. The listing implies a role in polishing art generated by both human artists and AI tools like Stable Diffusion, Vizcom, or Dall-E. This revelation has reignited the debate surrounding AI-generated art’s role in the gaming industry.

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AI-generated art has been a contentious issue, especially in video games, where its prevalence is substantial. According to a Unity report, 62% of game studios utilize AI, primarily for prototypes and concepts. However, concerns persist among gaming enthusiasts who advocate for the preservation of human creativity and skill in game development.

While the integration of AI-generated art may expedite game development, some fear it may compromise the uniqueness and artistic integrity of games. As technology advances and development cycles lengthen, the trend towards AI-generated art seems inexorable, prompting ongoing discussions within the gaming community about the balance between innovation and artistic authenticity.