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Xbox announces new AI partnership as fans threaten a boycott

Xbox announces new AI partnership as fans threaten a boycott

Xbox has really ticked of its fans this time!

It would seem that neither Xbox nor PlayStation can keep their fans happy, with Xbox users threatening to boycott the brand after it announced a new partnership with a company specialising in AI NPCs. If you thought NPCs lacked personality before, this news is going to grind your gears.

Microsoft made its announcement in the afternoon of 6 November, with its opening line on social media being, “With more extraordinary tools comes more extraordinary games”. Not sure why, but it just feels very cringe, not to mention like a poorly executed budget Spider-Man reference. The tweet then continued, “We're excited to see what people build with new AI-enabled game dev tools as we embark upon a partnership with @inworld_ai to make it easier for devs to realise their creative vision.”

Take a break from the bad news with our Alan Wake 2 review.

The thing is, few people, especially creatives, are sold on AI, least of all because of its generic and often stolen content generation. Yes, some YouTubers have had fun with the AI generated stories, with content quickly turning X-Rated, but otherwise, AI hasn’t been well received. Come on, AI can’t even beat Pokémon Red’s second gym. How can it write solid, authentic content?

If you’re not convinced that AI is a sticking point, allow me to show you one reaction to this Xbox news; user @NullPointerEcho had this to say, “Uninstalling Edge, cancelling my Game Pass and will be doing that for my entire household and anyone I provide tech for.” They continued, “Will also not purchase anything from any owned developer until such time as unethical genAI is excluded from all Microsoft products.”

That tweet is but the start of many angry, boycott-happy voices, not just on Twitter but on Reddit too. “This type of content generation is terrible for gaming as a whole – it's going to lead to more bloated, charmless, time-sink games for studios who are under the direction of execs who think more [equals] better always, despite case after case proving it not to be true,” posted Pedro95, their ire almost jumping off the screen.

INTHEMIDSTOFLIONS also showed their annoyance, saying, “AI can create very generic copywriting for websites, but it’s horrible at creating believable dialogue and makes horribly generic story lines.” Before then adding, “Why would I read/play something that a human didn't even bother to write?” That is a fantastic question, one many writers would like to know, but we'll just move on.

For now, it’s all up in the air, with little else known about how this partnership will impact the Xbox experience. I hope it isn’t negatively, but when it comes to acquisitions and partnerships, anything is possible.

Featured Image Credit: Microsoft

Topics: Microsoft, Xbox