Wizards of the Coast Responds After Making AI-Related Job Posting; "Our Stance on AI Hasn't Changed"

Wizards of the Coast says a recent AI-related job posting is for video games and not Dungeons & Dragons or Magic: The Gathering.

Wizards of the Coast has responded after tabletop enthusiasts discovered a job posting related to generative AI on their webpage. Over the weekend, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts expressed dismay and outrage over a job listing for a "Principal AI Engineer" posted in early May. The job post asks for "proven experience with AI/ML systems in at least one of the following areas: simulation, asset creation, and generative content" and also states that the AI engineer would be responsible for designing, building and deploying systems "for intelligent generation of text dialog, audio, art assets, NPC behaviors, and real time bot frameworks."

However, while many were quick to assume that Wizards of the Coast was exploring AI development in their core tabletop games, Wizards told ComicBook that the job description was related to future video game projects, which is a growing part of the Hasbro subsidiary. "Our stance on AI hasn't changed," Wizards of the Coast told ComicBook. "This job description is for a role for future video game projects. You can reference our AI FAQ here." Wizards has started several game studios in the past five years that are developing a number of AAA video games, including the recently announced Exodus.

Both the Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering teams have been clear that art made with generative AI projects are not to be used by freelance illustrators and writers working on products for their company. Additionally, Wizards has made a series of statements stating that the games are built on the "innovation, ingenuity, and hard work of talented people" and not generative AI. However, Wizards has faced several AI-related controversies, with one artist admitting to using generative AI in pieces submitted for Bigby's Presents: Glory of the Giants and Magic: The Gathering's marketing team using images that featured AI-generated backgrounds. Wizards has moved quickly when confronted on both controversies – they immediately commissioned new artwork to replace the AI-affected pieces in Bigby's Presents: Glory of the Giants, and they also pulled the AI-generated Magic: The Gathering marketing images and apologized (although the company initially said that the pieces were created by people). 

Although the D&D and Magic brand teams have remained resolute that their games would be made by humans, upper management has been far more open about the prospect of AI. Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks (who previously was the president of Wizards of the Coast before his promotion) referred to D&D's fifty years of adventures and Magic: The Gathering's deep catalog of artwork as potential sources for AI learning databases in a recent interview, stating that "Wizards can leverage [existing D&D and Magic products] to be able to build very interesting and compelling use cases for AI that can bring our characters to life.  We can build tools that aid in content creation for users or create really interesting gamified scenarios around them." Cocks said in the same interview that he uses AI-generated artwork in his home game and uses ChatGPT to aid in adventure creation. 

Wizards' parent company Hasbro also uses AI in several tabletop products, including AI-generated questions for its online Trivial Pursuit Infinite and an AI-powered Oujia board.