Pokémon Company Disqualifies AI Creations in Art Competition
By Yung Namahage • 3 weeks ago

Since 2019, The Pokémon Company has held an annual competition for artists and fans in Japan to provide illustrations for Pokémon cards in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Illustration Contest. The Pokémon Trading Card Game Illustration Contest 2022 allowed contestants based in the US to participate as well as Japanese artists, and the 2024 edition is the first to also include submissions from Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Naturally, this means this year's competition has the most entries yet, but unfortunately, it also seems to be the most controversial.

The 2024 competition actually began back in October last year, and the entries have now been whittled down to the final 300 out of the 10,830 entries that followed the theme "Magical Pokémon Moments", which you can see here. But fans online have noticed a couple pictures there were clearly made using AI programs, particularly this Vigo K/Vigen K/Vigo Khachadoorian fella. While there is nothing in the rules specifically banning AI, there is one about a limit of 3 submissions per person. There is also a bit that says "If a Submission contains materials belonging to a third party that has provided Entrant with permission to use such materials in the Submission, Entrant must provide written copies of such permission on request by the Sponsors and ensure that the permission allows Sponsors to use the materials in full for any purpose," which can be applied to AI based on other artists' work. So either way, it's not looking good for Vigo here.

In response to the outcry, the Pokémon TCG Twitter account posted an update to assure fans that the AI-made images will be removed from the final 300 and replaced with runners-up who were initially overlooked.

What do you guys think of this? Are they right to remove the AI entries? Sound off below!