Valve rejects Steam game with AI-generated content


Citing uncertainty over the rights to the data used to train the AI, Valve refuses to publish a game with AI-generated content on Steam. The decision is met with mixed reactions from the developer community.

The impending release of a game with AI-generated content sparks a discussion in the developer “AI game dev” community on Reddit. A developer with the handle u/potterharry97 reports that his game was rejected by Valve because it contains AI-generated assets. The developer backs this up with screenshots of Valve’s emails.

Steam justifies the rejection with the unclear legal situation regarding the intellectual property of such assets. After all, artists went a short months ago because their work was used to train AIs like Stable Diffusion and Midjourney without their permission.

The developer’s plan was to submit a raw version of the game with two or three assets that were “admittedly obviously AI-generated,” but to manually enhance them before the final release of the game.


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.

After reviewing, we have identified intellectual property in [Game Name Here] which appears to belong to one or more third parties. In particular, [Game Name Here] contains art assets generated by artificial intelligence that appears to be relying on copyrighted material owned by third parties. 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.

We are failing your build and will give you one (1) 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.

Valve in a message to the developer

Second rejection despite editing

The developer improved the assets by hand and removed any “obvious signs of AI,” but the game was rejected again because the rights to the data used to create the assets were not sufficiently cleared.

“Thank you for your patience as we reviewed [Game Name Here] and took our time to better understand the AI ​​tech used to create it. 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. 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,” Valve wrote in the second rejection.

Reaction to this decision has been mixed within the Reddit community. Some users believe that it should make no difference whether a human or an AI creates the artwork, as AI-generated content mimics the human learning process.

Other users have expressed concerns about the quality of AI-generated content. They worry that accepting “bad” data could negatively affect the quality of the content generated.

Valve has yet to commit to a clear path forward

In the past, the developer has released games within a day or two, he said. Taking a week to get feedback shows that Valve doesn’t really have a standard approach to AI-based games yet, he said.


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