Another blow to AI from Valve

Emre Çitak
Jul 3, 2023

Valve, the company behind the popular digital distribution platform Steam, has been quietly banning games that include AI-generated assets. The move comes as the legal ownership of AI-generated content is still unclear.

According to an anonymous developer on Reddit, Steam is "not willing" to accept games from developers who can't prove they own the rights to the original art or text assets used to train the AI algorithms.

The developer said they tried to release a game with a few AI-generated assets, but Valve rejected the game and said it would not be allowed on Steam unless the developer could prove they owned the rights to all of the IP used in the data set that trained the AI.

On Reddit, the developer in question, user r/aigamedev, posted two Reddit posts describing the incident at length. You may read the post below where he explains all the details of the case.

Update: Decided to give more details regarding my game's take down due to AI
byu/potterharry97 inaigamedev

Using AI is as complex as creating it

In a statement to PC Gamer, Valve said that it is "working through how to integrate AI into our already-existing review policies" and that its goal is not to discourage the use of AI on Steam.

However, the company said that it is "the developer's responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate rights to ship their game".

The creator of the game was contacted by Steam support and Steam responded with "While we strive to ship most titles submitted to use, we cannot ship games for which the developer does not have all of the necessary rights" to the shocked game creator.

The game developer shared the entire conversation with Valve on Imgur with two screenshots.

Steam AI game
Steam did not want to publish the game even though the developer has removed the AI assets from the game - Image credit

The ban on Steam AI games is a setback for developers who are using AI to create new and innovative games. However, it is also a sign that Valve is taking the issue of copyright ownership seriously. As AI technology continues to develop, it is likely that we will see more clarification on the legal ownership of AI-generated content.

In the meantime, developers who are considering using AI tools like Leonardo AI in their games should carefully research the copyright laws in their jurisdiction to make sure they are in compliance. They should also be prepared to provide evidence of ownership to Valve if their game is rejected.


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