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Steam will allow games with AI content

Valve updates its policy regarding pre- and live-generated AI content
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Valve has updated its policy regarding AI content in games sold on Steam, the leading platform in PC gaming. Back in June 2023, the company announced it would not allow games that use AI to pre- or live-generate content on its platform before learning more about the topic. It looks like this research process is done.

“Today, after spending the last few months learning more about this space and talking with game developers, we are making changes to how we handle games that use AI technology. This will enable us to release the vast majority of games that use it,” a blog post on Steam stated.

Steam logo in various forms.

Expect games with AI-generated content in them to arrive on Steam in the near future.

Developers will be required to give full transparency to Valve when it comes to their AI usage – they’ll need to disclose “any kind of content (art/code/sound/etc) created with the help of AI tools during development,” need to promise that their “game will not include illegal or infringing content,” and must ensure that it will be “consistent” with its marketing materials. They must also tell Steam about “any kind of content created with the help of AI tools while the game is running” and inform the platform about “what kind of guardrails you're putting on your AI to ensure it's not generating illegal content.” Valve said it will check all of these aspects during its review process.

Valve plans to put the majority of this information on the games’ Steam pages to inform users about the usage of AI in these titles. In addition, a new report system will be introduced on the platform to enable players to report on illegal AI-generated content.

“Today's changes are the result of us improving our understanding of the landscape and risks in this space, as well as talking to game developers using AI, and those building AI tools. This will allow us to be much more open to releasing games using AI technology on Steam,” Valve said.

An exception to this rule will be “Adult Only Sexual Content that is created with Live-Generated AI,” which Valve said it cannot allow to be released on its platform at the moment. 

The company emphasized that nothing about this is set in stone forever, as this is a rapidly changing field of technology: “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. But we don't feel like we serve our players or developer partners by rushing into decisions that have this much complexity. We'll continue to learn from the games being submitted to Steam, and the legal progress around AI, and will revisit this decision when necessary.”

This announcement comes amidst several big AI-related reveals at CES 2024, where Nvidia unveiled AI-powered tools to assist game developers.