Valve doesn't want to discourage AI-driven games on Steam

(Image credit: Valve)

Valve has clarified its stance on submitted games using AI elements.

Last week, a developer claimed their game had been banned from Steam. According to them, the ban stemmed from the fact that it used AI-generated assets, reportedly only as early templates for the full game. Valve allegedly demanded the developer prove they owned the data set that was used to originally train the AI, and when they couldn't, their game was banned from Steam.

Now, Valve has clarified its stance on AI creations on Steam. "We are continuing to learn about AI, the ways it can be used in game development, and how to factor it in to our process for reviewing games submitted for distribution on Steam," a Valve spokesperson tells GamesRadar+ in an email. 

"Our priority, as always, is to try to ship as many of the titles we receive as we can. The introduction of AI can sometimes make it harder to show a developer has sufficient rights in using AI to create assets, including images, text, and music. In particular, there is some legal uncertainty relating to data used to train AI models. It is the developer's responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate rights to ship their game," the spokesperson continues.

Valve goes on to add that "our goal is not to discourage the use of [AI] on Steam; instead, we're working through how to integrate it into our already-existing review policies." The spokesperson also puts the review process down to "a reflection of current copyright law and policies, not an added layer of our opinion."

Valve goes on to reassure developers that as the laws around these subjects change over time, so too will Valve's review policies. Valve is clearly seeking to protect itself on a legal front here, as the company definitely doesn't want a potential lawsuit on their hands over plagiarism via the games that they choose to publish on Steam.

"We welcome and encourage innovation, and AI technology is bound to create new and exciting experiences in gaming. While developers can use these AI technologies in their work with appropriate commercial licenses, they can not infringe on existing copyrights," the statement from the Valve spokesperson concludes.

Check out our upcoming PC games guide for a look over all the new titles potentially arriving on Steam later this year.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.