Blizzard is looking to take advantage of artificial intelligence with a new tool called Blizzard Diffusion. According to a recent report by the New York Times, the AI-powered tool will help generate concept art for game environments, characters, and outfits for the company’s upcoming game, Diablo 4. Blizzard chief design officer Allen Adham reportedly sent an internal email teasing the AI tool claiming staff should “prepare to be amazed.”
The use of AI image generators has been a controversial topic in the art world due to the potential for abuse and plagiarism. However, an email by Activision Blizzard chief technical officer Michael Vance reassured employees that they should not use external AI image programs for their intellectual properties. It is hope that Blizzard Diffusion will streamline the creation of assets exclusively from Blizzard’s own database, without using outside material.
While AI tools are meant to aid creativity, there are growing concerns that it could replace concept art creation altogether. However, it seems that Blizzard’s intention is for the AI tool to be an assistant to their employees, rather than stand in place of a human touch. Blizzard is not the first company to utilize AI in game development, as Ubisoft announced earlier this year their plans to use a similar AI tool named Ghostwriter to generate NPC and ancillary dialogue.
It remains to be seen how effective Blizzard Diffusion will be, but with Diablo 4 release looming, fans are eagerly awaiting to see what the company has in store.