A dinosaur roaring in a cavern in Magic The Gathering art.

‘D&D’ and ‘Magic’ Publisher Has Made Their Stance Clear on AI Art

The arrival of AI-generated art and writing has been tumultuous, but creatives are still standing strong, with strikes in Hollywood giving us hope that we won’t be replaced just yet. Now, Dungeons and Dragons and Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast is also standing in solidarity with artists.

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The company that produces the games D&D and Magic: The Gathering is putting its foot down when it comes to AI art used in its products. The conversation came about after a D&D artist announced that they had used AI to help them finish off some of their art pieces for the sourcebook Glory of the Giants. Now, the company has issued a statement, which can be found on their Magic: The Gathering site. It reads,

For 30 years, Magic: The Gathering has been built on the innovation, ingenuity, and hard work of talented people who sculpt a beautiful, creative game. That isn’t changing. Our internal guidelines remain the same with regard to artificial intelligence tools: We require artists, writers, and creatives contributing to the Magic TCG to refrain from using AI generative tools to create final Magic products. We work with some of the most talented artists and creatives in the world, and we believe those people are what makes Magic great.

This statement was written in part to address the backlash that the company faced after the artist revealed he had used AI to “polish” some of his work. Though the company continues to work with that artist, as they feel it is unfair to punish them when no rules were actually in place, they have updated their guidelines regarding AI, adding to the D&D community update,

We require that artists refrain from using AI Art Generation tools as part of their art creation process for developing D&D art.

They claim to have reviewed the remaining artwork in many of their other works thoroughly to ensure that no other AI was used and are implementing the AI rule moving forward.

This news, however, comes only weeks after Wizards of the Coast’s parent company, Hasbro, made major layoffs, with more reportedly on the way. The Wall Street Journal reported Hasbro “is cutting nearly 20% of its workforce as weak sales for toys and games persist into the critical holiday shopping period.” These layoffs did include creatives who work on the D&D and Magic: The Gathering teams.

Wizards of the Coast is not the only RPG maker that has started to get on top of AI work, with the makers of the Terminator RPG game, Nightfall Games, removing 16 pieces of art they discovered had been created with the aid of AI. The company posted on its Kickstarter campaign that one of its art creators has used AI art after promising that that was not the case.

They are committed to bringing real art to the game and concluded the post by saying, “[W]e as a company will be working with our external artists to ensure that all art is confirmed AI-free and we will also be implementing a number of checks before payment is made and art is accepted.”

Art is something that we create from our soul, from our imagination and hard work. AI does nothing more than copy and paste the artwork it steals from those artists who invested time, heart, and money into their craft. Companies should not be allowed to profit from stolen work, now or ever.

(featured image: Anna Podedworna/Wizards of the Coast)

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Laura Pollacco
Laura Pollacco (she/her) is a contributing writer here at The Mary Sue, having written for digital media since 2022 and has a keen interest in all things Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and anime. She has worked for various publications including We Got This Covered, but much of her work can be found gracing the pages of print and online publications in Japan, where she resides. Outside of writing she treads the boards as an actor, is a portrait and documentary photographer, and takes the little free time left to explore Japan.