Valve blocks games with AI-generated assets on Steam: Report

Valve's Steam platform is blocking games using AI-generated assets due to the raging question about legal implications.

| Updated on: Jul 03 2023, 12:43 IST
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Valve's Steam faces controversy as it rejects games with AI-generated assets. (Bloomberg)

Valve, the owner of the popular gaming client and storefront Steam, appears to be grappling with the legal implications of generative AI in the gaming industry. According to reports, the company is purportedly preventing games that utilize AI-generated art assets from being sold on its platform.

An anonymous developer recently shared their experience of having their game submission to Steam rejected. The developer's post gained significant attention on Twitter, where they disclosed that a substantial portion of the game's assets were created with the assistance of AI, specifically using Stable Diffusion, the Byte reported.

However, this turned out to be a critical misstep. A Valve moderator responded by explaining that the game could not be listed on Steam due to the presence of AI-generated art assets that seemed to rely on copyrighted material owned by third parties.

"As the legal ownership of such AI-generated art is unclear, we cannot distribute your game if it contains these AI-generated assets, unless you can unequivocally prove that you hold the rights to all the intellectual property used to train the AI responsible for creating the assets in your game," the moderator stated.

In an attempt to address the issue, the game developer claimed to have "enhanced" the assets to remove any apparent signs of AI involvement. However, even after resubmission, the game was still rejected.

It remains to be seen whether the moderator's response reflects an official Valve policy, as the company has yet to publicly clarify its position, adhering to its customary reserved approach.

This cautious language appears to enable the employment of an in-house AI, similar to Blizzard's, that is trained solely on assets owned by the company.

It appears that Valve is opting to remain on the sidelines, potentially for prudential reasons. After all, the legal implications surrounding the output of generative AI are highly contentious.

Companies behind AI image generators have faced lawsuits from artists for training on copyrighted art without authorization or compensation. Getty Images, too, has filed a similar lawsuit.

The outcomes of these pending lawsuits could significantly influence the future of AI-generated images and Valve may simply prefer not to be implicated in copyright infringement by distributing games that potentially incorporate stolen assets.

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First Published Date: 03 Jul, 11:32 IST