Xbox Gets Grilled For Promoting Indie Games With AI Art

ID@Xbox recently posted an AI-generated winter-themed photo.

Story Highlights

  • Xbox deleted a post on X after receiving backlash for using AI-generated imagery in it.
  • ID@Xbox, an indie dev support program from Microsoft, posted the tweet, which resulted in angry reactions from fans.
  • Gamers called out the irony behind the Xbox program using tech threatening the jobs of developers.

Xbox has received immense backlash from fans after its ID@Xbox program used an AI-generated image in a new post on X. The picture in the now-deleted tweet, featured children with sleighs on a snowy hill, which has an Xbox logo in the middle of it and a snow structure spelling out ID. At first, this seems normal but on closer inspection, you can see the abnormal aspects, like the unusual black tendrils some of the kids have.

ID@ Xbox AI post
The deleted post from ID@Xbox using AI imagery.

In addition, the children on the sleigh can be seen maneuvering it with unattached cranks and the man in the center with the gaming handheld has teeth instead of a top lip. And, arguably the worst anomaly is the child jumping through the snow with a moustache. As you can expect Xbox received significant backlash from fans for using this AI image.

Gamers pointed out the irony behind ID@Xbox, a program that is in place to promote indie developers, using tech that is threatening their very livelihood. Artist NecroKuma3 said that nothing says “we don’t care about indie developers” like using AI and if Xbox can’t hire artists, he doubts they would hire indie devs. User Matt B answered the post in question, saying his favorite indie title was “paying actual artists instead of pushing horrific AI slop.

After seeing this backlash, ID@Xbox deleted the post but it’s safe to say the damage to their brand was done. The problem of AI-generated imagery in the gaming industry is bigger than just Xbox. Amazon’s upcoming Fallout show used AI in a promotional image and even the Persona team is considering using the AI art feature for future game development.

Moreover, a recent patent from EA suggests that the company may be using AI tech in the future to generate in-game sound effects. On the other hand, a Google patent showcased how the company is going to create entire NPCs through AI. Therefore, Xbox and Microsoft are just part of a wider problem affecting the industry.


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However, the American tech company has been a core supporter of the unethical practice. Microsoft has been promoting AI tools on its Bing browser in addition to bringing AI-generated material to Xbox. And, all of this is despite the company acknowledging the negative environmental effects of the technology, with an internal report blaming the technology for a 34 percent spike in Microsoft’s water usage.

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Matt B On X

Ahmed Mansoor is a News Writer who has a deep passion for single-player adventure games. He loves to keep tabs on the gaming and technology industries and loves to break stories that interest his audience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and several years of experience writing for games. Experience: 3+ Years || Education: Bachelor's in Journalism || Written 600+ News Stories.

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