Treyarch’s plan to use AI to develop next Call of Duty draws backlash

Joseph Pascoulis
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According to a Treyarch job listing, AI tools are set to be utilized for art development in the next Call of Duty game from the studio, and it’s not gone down too well with fans of the franchise.

A Treyarch job listing suggests that the Call of Duty studio are looking to use AI tools for art development in a future title.

AI has been a major concern in the gaming space, especially when it comes to things like voice-overs and art. Embark Studios were criticized heavily for their use of AI voice-overs in The Finals, while Ubisoft were slammed for promoting AI Assassin’s Creed art.

The job listing is looking for a “2D Artist/Animator” who’s skilled in a variety of aspects including “generative AI tools.” The artist will need to “polish 2D art made by humans and generative AI tools,” which suggests that the next Call of Duty title by Treyarch will utilize AI in art development.

Call of Duty 2024 is rumored to be the next title by Treyarch. Although it’s not confirmed, it’s said to be another installment of the Black Ops franchise, this time centered around the Gulf War.

If the rumors are true, this will be the game that the job listing is recruiting for. It will also be the first CoD release under Microsoft since their acquisition of Activision. This is important because Microsoft have been making a push for more use of AI tools in game development, and this could be part of the new directive.

It’s unclear what the “2D art” will be, as one comment under CharlieIntel’s post highlighting the job listing mentions Calling Cards. Perhaps 2D art also includes Loading Screens, Decals, and Emblems.

The prospect of these cosmetic items using AI tools is controversial, and many disagree with the idea. Some X users are expressing their feelings towards AI art in CoD, as one post said, “Treyarch making it abundantly clear they have zero concerns about ethics, liability, or copyright with generative AI.”

Another agreed, as they wrote, “There’s no excuse for this horses**t. I think we’re well aware of the poor treatment the COD dev teams have had to endure under Activision, but generative AI is not the way forward for any medium. This is beyond pathetic.”

It is important to note that the job listing does make it clear that these AI tools will be used to “polish” human-made art, so it isn’t completely removing artists from the creation process.

We’ll have to wait and see what the extent of this job listing consists of once we know more about Treyarch’s next Call of Duty game and its development, as well as if Activision or Treyarch will respond to the backlash.

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