Square Enix has used AI for some of Foamstars art

Square Enix has used AI for some of Foamstars art

Japanese publisher Square Enix has revealed that it used generative artificial intelligence to produce some of the artwork in the upcoming Foamstars.

That's according to VGC, which spoke with the title's producer Kosuke Okatani, who said that the company had experimented with Midjourney, the text-to-image generative AI to produce a small amount of in-game icons. Okatani emphasised that the core – and majority – of Foamstars had been made by developers.

“All of the core elements in Foamstars – the core gameplay, and the things that make the game enjoyable – those are all made by hand,” he said.

“However, we did want to experiment with AI as well.

“In terms of the content in the game, this makes up about 0.01 per cent or even less, but we have dabbled in it by creating these icons in the game.”

In a statement from Square Enix after the fact, the company added: “AI was used in the creation of the in-game album covers for the music featured in the Foamstars’ soundtrack. As developers, we’re always looking at new technologies to see how they can assist with game development.

“In this instance, we experimented with Midjourney using simple prompts to produce abstract images. We loved what was created and used them as the final album covers players will see in the game. Everything else was created entirely by our development team.”

Square Enix said earlier this year that it was going to be "aggressively" exploring AI in game development.

The new tech is causing anxiety within creative industries due to concerns it might be used to replace humans. That being said, there are legal challenges to AI companies, including Midjourney, claiming that it has scraped artists' work to train their models.

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.