Steam won’t distribute games with AI assets (for now)

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Valve recently addressed the controversy surrounding its stance on distributing games featuring AI-generated art and content via its Steam storefront.

Reports emerged last week suggesting that Valve was refusing to distribute games featuring AI-generated assets, sparking a debate within the gaming community. However, in a statement to IGN, Valve spokesperson Kaci Aitchison Boyle clarified the company’s position.

Aitchison Boyle emphasised that Valve is not attempting to discourage the use of AI on its gaming platform, Steam. The confusion arose due to Valve’s ongoing efforts to incorporate AI technology into its existing review process while ensuring compliance with copyright laws.

The company aims to ship as many titles as possible and welcomes innovation, acknowledging the potential for AI technology to bring new and exciting experiences to gaming. However, it’s crucial for developers to utilise AI technologies with appropriate commercial licenses and avoid infringing upon existing copyrights.

In light of the situation, Valve has taken steps to rectify any misunderstandings and alleviate concerns.

The company has refunded submission credits to developers whose games were rejected due to their use of AI-generated content, as per Valve’s current rules. By doing so, Valve is demonstrating its commitment to addressing the issue and supporting developers in navigating the complexities surrounding AI-generated content.

Valve’s response to this matter is not surprising, considering the challenges AI-generated content has posed in various industries.

For example, generative AI has caused headaches for streaming services like Spotify and YouTube in the music industry. In April, these platforms found themselves grappling with a copyright claim from Universal Music Group after an AI-generated Drake song went viral and was uploaded by someone to their platforms.

As AI technology continues to advance, it’s essential for companies like Valve to establish clear guidelines and policies regarding AI-generated content. Balancing innovation and copyright protection is a delicate task, but it is crucial for fostering a thriving and responsible AI ecosystem in the game development industry.

(Photo by Michal Matlon on Unsplash)

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