Paizo, publisher of popular tabletop roleplay games (TTRPG) like Pathfinder and Starfinder, has made its position clear: AI-generated art and text isn’t welcome across its games, be it official or fan-made. In a Twitter post, Paizo said it would update its contracts in the coming days to mandate that any work submitted must be created by a human. This ban on AI-generated content also extends to the community content marketplaces for Pathfinder Infinite and Starfinder Infinite, which allow creators to sell third-party content based on Paizo’s IP.
“Since we launched the company in 2002, Paizo has made its reputation with the assistance of countless traditional artists and writers, who are just as integral to the success of our games as our in-house editors, art directors, designers, and developers,” said the company. “The ethical and legal issues surrounding ‘AI art’ and writing prompt programs — and the serious threat they pose to the livelihoods of partners who have helped us get to where we are today as a company — demand that we take a firm position against the use of this technology in Paizo products.”
The statement echoes wider fears that AI tools will disrupt the creative industry. Many artists and writers deem generative AI models like Midjourney and ChatGPT to be unethical since the datasets used to train them can contain content scraped from the internet without permission from its creator. That presents potential problems for copyright laws, but there are also concerns that these tools can be used to undermine human creative professionals should the content they spit out be sold for profit.
“We are unwilling to associate our brands with the technology in any way”
“Our customers expect a human touch to our releases, and so long as the ethical and legal circumstances surrounding these programs remains murky and undefined, we are unwilling to associate our brands with the technology in any way,” said Paizo.
The company has previously taken stances to fight for its creative community, having recently weighed in on Wizards of the Coast’s attempt to repeal the Open Gaming License for its Dungeons & Dragons franchise — the core rules of which form the base for Paizo’s Pathfinder games.
While Paizo said it won’t use “AI-generated ‘creative’ work of any kind for the foreseeable future,” the company hasn’t disclosed how it plans to prevent such content from being submitted to its marketplaces. There’s currently no software or application available that can reliably identify if AI was used to generate art or text. And with generative AI tools becoming increasingly accessible, there’s plenty of incentive to use them — especially considering how little freelancer writers and illustrators are paid in the TTRPG industry.
Source: The Verge