Steam Opens Doors to Games Featuring AI-Generated Content

Steam Opens Doors to Games Featuring AI-Generated Content

In a blog post, Valve announced a new AI policy that will allow developers to publish games with AI-generated content on Steam after filling out a disclosure form.

According to Valve, the form includes an ‘AI disclosure section’ where developers need to provide details on how they are using AI in the development and implementation of their games. This decision opens up new possibilities for game development by blending AI technology with creative gaming experiences.

Also read: Players and Fans Puzzled as Valve Shuts Down Dota 2 Pro Circuit

Valve’s policy shift

Before this announcement, Valve said that it would not allow AI-generated games on its system until it had gained sufficient knowledge about the topic. This was due to the challenges associated with the fast-growing and legally riddling domain of AI technology, as well as the firm’s global reach.

“We needed some time to learn about the fast-moving and legally murky space of AI technology, especially given Steam’s worldwide reach.”

However, the company, via a blog post, issued a u-turn in its early position on the use of AI, opening the door for game creators to use its platform for publishing AI-generated games. This follows complaints by several developers claiming that Valve has been rejecting Steam game submissions containing AI-generated assets. Nonetheless, the firm issued an apology statement for taking longer to allow the inclusion of AI-generated content in their games.

“It’s taken us some time to figure this out, and we’re sorry that has made it harder for some developers to make decisions around their games.”

Transparency at the heart of Valve’s update

Valve’s AI policy appears to be drafted to boost transparency regarding AI’s role in Steam games while reducing possible risks associated with AI-generated content. This approach aims to empower clients with the knowledge to make educated decisions about purchasing games that incorporate AI. Under the new rules, developers are required to categorize their use of AI into two main types: pre-generated and live-generated.

In pre-generated AI content, developers will have to ensure that their games will not include illegal or infringing content and should be consistent with their marketing materials. This includes any kind of content, such as code, art, or sound, that employed the use of AI tools during its development. On the other hand, developers are expected to provide the details of the safeguards they are implementing in their live-generated AI content to ensure it’s not generating illegal content.

“In the Content Survey, you’ll need to tell us what kind of guardrails you’re putting on your AI to ensure it’s not generating illegal content.”

Valve will use this disclosure in its pre-release evaluation of games to ensure that illegal content is not generated and distributed in games through AI. Similarly, the updated policy will allow players to report illegal content in games that contain live-generated AI content. The execution of this policy would enhance the publishing of AI-generated games, except for adult-only sexual content.

“The only exception to this will be adult-only sexual content that is created with live-generated AI; we are unable to release that type of content right now.”

Community reactions and ethical concerns

The involvement of AI-generated content in Steam games has caused chaos in the gaming community, with many having diversified points of view. Critics worry that AI could result in a surge of low-quality “shovelware titles,” diluting the market with subpar content. However, proponents argue that AI holds the potential to change game development, opening doors to “endless possibilities” if channeled correctly.

A notable concern raised in the discussion is Valve’s lack of clarity on training data rights. This omission raises the troubling possibility that the AI used in games might be learning from illicitly acquired data, a serious ethical and legal issue that the industry must address.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.