Valve reportedly banning games using AI art from Steam

Valve reportedly banning games using AI art from Steam

PC games giant Valve is apparently refusing to publish games that use artificial intelligence-generated assets.

That's according to a developer, who posted to Redditspotted by GameDiscoverCo founder Simon Carless – that Valve had prevented them from publishing a title due to it featuring some "fairly obviously AI generated" assets. This is due to whatever data set the AI in question was trained on featured copyrighted material.

"As the legal ownership of such AI-generated art is unclear, we cannot ship your game while it contains these AI-generated assets, unless you can affirmatively confirm that you own the rights to all of the IP used in the data set that trained the AI to create the assets in your game," Valve wrote.

"We are failing your build and will give you one opportunity to remove all content that you do not have the rights to from your build.

"If you fail to remove all such content, we will not be able to ship your game on Steam, and this app will be banned."

The developer in question resubmitted the game but it was rejected once again.

"Again, while we strive to ship most titles submitted to us, we cannot ship games for which the developer does not have all of the necessary rights," Valve wrote.

"At this time, we are declining to distribute your game since it’s unclear if the underlying AI tech used to create the assets has sufficient rights to the training data."

Grey Alien's Jade Birkett has also said that AI-generated text is also being flagged.

Being a new technology, how to handle or approach content generated by artificial intelligence is still up in the air. As Birkett points out, there is a debate to be had about where to draw the line as even AI generated imagery from programmes such as PhotoShop might have been trained from copyrighted data.

We've reached out to Valve for comment.


PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.