Report: Generative AI hits Chinese game art jobs

Report: Generative AI hits Chinese game art jobs

New developments in generative artificial intelligence (AI) is having a detrimental impact on the Chinese games industry.

That's according to a new report from Rest of Worldas spotted by Game Developer – which says that since the start of this year, advances in AI programs like DALL-E 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion have seen job opportunities for illustrators disappear.

One artist, Amber Yu, says that while she used to be hired to create posters to promote games on social media – a job she made good money with – she is now being contracted to correct artwork generated by AI for a tenth of what she used to be able to charge.

Other artists report that illustrators have been laid off from developers. One illustrator, Xu Yingying, who works at an independent art studio says that five of the 15 strong illustration team has been let go.

“AI is developing at a speed way beyond our imagination,” Yingying said.

She continued: “Two people could potentially do the work that used to be done by 10.”

Though this report is concerned with China, there are anxieties the world over as to how artificial intelligence is going to be applied in game development. 

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.