Ubisoft has lots of reasons to be proud of its mega-successful Assassin's Creed series, but you wouldn't know that from how they've treated poor Ezio on Twitter recently. To celebrate Halloween yesterday, the official Twitter account for Ubisoft in the Netherlands asked fans whether they were team trick or treat, under which was a soulless AI-generated Halloween-themed monstrosity.
At a glance, it just looks like some ugly art, but look a bit closer and you'll see the tell-tale signs of AI bullshit, like the mangled Assassins emblem and unnaturally contorted fingers. Even the very simple pumpkins haven't escaped AI's penchant for messing everything up. That this was featured on an official channel should be incredibly embarrassing.
Ben jij team trick of treat?🎃 pic.twitter.com/xvtIJH0rPfOctober 31, 2023
The choice to lazily use AI art instead of paying artists is sadly indicative of a company looking to cut costs, a process that has involved lay-offs and cancellations, as well as office closures. But the publisher hasn't sacked every artist—it's still got so much talent at its beck and call, any of whom would have been capable of creating something that showed the games in a much better light.
Bargain Bin Ezio was not an isolated incident, either. Ubisoft Latam, the publisher's Twitter account for Latin America, posted an equally ugly piece of AI art, though it at least managed to recreate human fingers. Well done, I guess? That tweet was deleted, but not before it was captured for posterity by Twitter users, including concept artist Reid Southen, who also called for Ubisoft Nederland to follow Ubisoft Latam's example and take the art down.
Ubisoft literally conducting layoffs this year and last month, and they're posting AI art. Unbelievable.What the hell is the game industry doing right now. pic.twitter.com/XVbzqcbw9DOctober 31, 2023
While this may seem like a minor ill-conceived piece of marketing, it contributes to the normalisation of AI art over works created by real people, and suggests that as long as it's cheaper, it doesn't matter if it's incredibly low quality. There's so much incredible videogame art out there, and hordes of talented artists ready to work, and Ubisoft is telling them that they aren't as valuable as a program that doesn't even know how to produce fingers.