Some developers have recently reported that their games that use AI-generated art are being removed from Steam and have been blocked from releasing new games with AI-generated art on the platform (according to a Reddit thread). In a response to IGN, Valve has revealed the reasons behind removing these games and blocking future versions that make use of the technology.
According to Valve, he says that rather than removing these games for their use of a technology, he was more concerned with copyright issues. While the company doesn’t want to discourage the use of generation AI, it does want to make sure that developers have the rights for the art to be used to train the AI.
“We continue to learn about AI, the ways it can be used in game development, and how to factor it into our review process for games submitted for distribution on Steam.”
“Our priority, as always, is to try to send as many titles as we can receive. The introduction of AI can sometimes make it more difficult to prove that a developer has sufficient rights in the use of AI to create assets, including images, text, and music. In particular, there is some legal uncertainty in relation to the data used to train AI models. It is the responsibility of the developer to ensure that they have the proper rights to submit their game.
“We know this is a constantly evolving technology, and our goal is not to discourage its use on Steam; Instead, we are working on how to integrate it into our already existing review policies. Stated clearly, our review process is a reflection of current copyright laws and policies, not an added layer of our opinion. As these laws and policies evolve over time, so will our process.
“We welcome and encourage innovation, and AI technology is meant to create new and exciting gaming experiences. While developers may use these AI technologies in their work with the appropriate commercial licenses, they may not infringe existing copyrights.”
Valve’s decision comes in light of several developers noticing that their games that make use of AI-generated art were being removed from Steam. Although Valve does not prohibit the use of AI technologies, the company has taken these measures ostensibly to avoid issues related to copyright and ownership of the art that was being used to train the AI as a preemptive move.