An upcoming PlayStation-exclusive multiplayer title is using AI-generated artwork for a small number of its colorful and abstract in-game assets.


The upcoming hero shooter Foamstars utilizes AI for some artwork, sparking debate over the role of the technology in content creation.

Square Enix confirmed that it is using AI for a small portion of Foamstars' in-game icons, but the majority of assets are handmade.

The use of AI in content creation is a controversial topic, with some excited about the possibilities and others concerned about the removal of the human element.

The upcoming PlayStation exclusive Foamstars will utilize AI for some of its artwork, as confirmed by producer Kosuke Okatani. Square Enix announced this colorful multiplayer hero shooter during a PlayStation Showcase event back in May, quickly drawing comparisons to Nintendo’s Splatoon series due to Foamstars’ primary gimmick of spraying the battlefield with foam to help navigate the environment or block enemy attacks. Foamstars is set to launch as part of the PlayStation Plus Monthly Games lineup on February 6, and if successful could kickstart a new wave of Splatoon-like games.

Another, potentially less positive trend growing throughout the gaming industry is the use of AI to create artwork or even vocal performances. This has drawn concern and controversy among insiders and gamers alike due to the possibility of such content replacing the work of actual humans like veteran voice actors Jennifer Hale and David Hayter. Artwork-wise, Magic: The Gathering company Wizards of Coast recently came under fire for using AI images in its latest marketing campaign mere weeks after promising not to implement such assets, though Wizards later stated that this was a genuine mistake on its part.

Meanwhile, Square Enix is deliberately using AI-generated artwork in Foamstars, with producer Kosuke Okatani confirming this to VGC during a recent press event. According to Okatani, the development team used the AI program Midjourney, which transforms text prompts into visual art, to make a small number of Foamstars’ in-game icons – namely album covers for the game’s music tracks. However, Okatani assured players that the majority of Foamstars’ assets were made by hand, with AI only being used for about 0.01% or less of the game’s materials. Square Enix itself would back up Okatani’s claims in a later statement to VGC.

The use of AI in creating some of Foamstars’ in-game artwork might be another sparking point in the ongoing debate over said technology, but it isn’t too surprising given some of Square Enix’s recent AI-related statements. At the start of the new year, Square Enix president Takashi Kiryu announced that his company will be "aggressive" in applying AI and other new technology to the development and marketing of future titles like Foamstars, though he didn’t give specific details on what this would mean.

The subject of AI in content creation remains an explosive issue throughout the entertainment industry, with some being excited about the possibilities of this technology and others decrying the potential removal of the human element in creating video games like Foamstars. It has been confirmed that the upcoming PlayStation multiplayer shooter indeed uses AI for a small amount of its in-game artwork, but the rest of the game was crafted by human developers.

By marcela Diay

Despite her humble beginnings, Marcela Diay has spectacularly transcended the gaming world. From her childhood years spent immersed in video games, Marcela has reached for the stars and achieved the heights of success, becoming a true role model for gamers around the globe. From honing her skills on a simple handheld console, Marcela has progressed to writing extraordinary reviews, producing fascinating editorials, and ultimately obtaining the respected position of editor of the magazine's game section. Her remarkable journey serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating how with intense passion and hard work, anything is possible.