Valve clarifies AI-generated content policy on Steam

Jul 4, 2023, 8:55 AM UTC
3 mins read
Valve clarifies AI-generated content policy on Steam
(Image credit: Steam)

Valve, the prominent video game company behind the popular digital distribution platform Steam, has addressed concerns surrounding the use of AI-generated content on its platform. The issue arose when a Steam developer claimed that their game was rejected due to its utilization of “fairly obviously AI-generated” assets. In response, Valve has clarified its position on AI-generated content and shed light on its approach to monitoring such content on Steam.

Valve emphasized its commitment to understanding and harnessing the potential of AI in game development. The company stated that its primary objective is to release as many titles as possible while ensuring that developers adhere to the necessary rights and permissions when using AI to create assets such as images, text, and music. Valve acknowledged the challenges posed by the introduction of AI, ascertaining that it can be difficult to determine whether developers possess the appropriate rights for utilizing AI in their creations.

Addressing the legal uncertainties surrounding certain AI-generated assets, Valve asserted that it is the responsibility of developers to ensure they possess the requisite rights to distribute their games. The company acknowledged the constantly evolving nature of AI technology and expressed its goal of integrating it seamlessly into its existing review policies. Valve clarified that its review process is a reflection of prevailing copyright laws and policies, rather than a subjective opinion. As these laws and policies evolve, Valve’s review process will adapt accordingly.

Valve affirmed its commitment to fostering innovation and acknowledged the inevitable role of AI technology in driving creativity on its platform. However, the company emphasized that while developers can utilize AI technologies with appropriate commercial licenses, they must not infringe upon existing copyrights.

In closing, Valve stated its willingness to offer app-submission credits in cases where developers encounter challenges with the review process. The company assured developers that it is actively working to refine its review policies in response to emerging technologies and legal developments.

The integration of AI in the gaming industry has become a highly debated topic. Numerous developers have experimented with AI technology, including Ubisoft, which unveiled its Ghostwriter AI tool earlier this year. The High on Life team also utilized AI to generate video game voice dialogue.

Prime Matter, the publisher of System Shock, faced controversy earlier this year when it employed AI-generated art as a marketing strategy for the game’s remake. These incidents highlight the increasing prevalence of AI in game development and the need for clear guidelines and policies regarding its usage.

The response from the voice acting community has been mixed. Prominent voice actors, such as Jane Perry, Troy Baker, Jennifer Hale, and David Hayter, have expressed skepticism regarding AI’s ability to replicate human performances. They have raised concerns about the potential impact of AI on the voice acting industry.

For further insights into the games industry’s response to AI, readers can refer to Chris Tapsell’s in-depth feature, which explores this subject in detail.

Valve’s recent statement clarifies its stance on AI-generated content and highlights its commitment to facilitating innovation while ensuring compliance with copyright laws. As the gaming industry continues to evolve, it is essential for companies like Valve to strike a balance between embracing new technologies and safeguarding intellectual property rights.

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