Valve wants game publishers on Steam to own up about using AI


With the recent complaints about game publishers using undisclosed AI features such as generative art or AI-generated voices and in-game content, Valve has acted to make its Steam marketplace more transparent as to which titles use the technology.

With the recent uproar about Apex Legends’ Final Fantasy VII trailer potentially using an AI art generator for some graphics in the footage, the area certainly needs to be cleaned up. Even traditional card games such as Magic the Gathering have come under recent scrutiny for not telling nothing but the whole truth when it comes to whether their art was produced by a human or downloaded from Skynet, just like our featured image on this page.

The move has seemingly come about quickly with Valve publishing a set of new guidelines for companies looking to use the Steam platform to sell on.

A post on Steam reads, “We are updating the Content Survey that developers fill out when submitting to Steam. The survey now includes a new AI disclosure section, where you’ll need to describe how you are using AI in the development and execution of your game.

It goes on to say that AI use in games will now be split into two broad categories:

  • Pre-Generated: Any kind of content (art/code/sound/etc) created with the help of AI tools during development. Under the Steam Distribution Agreement, you promise Valve that your game will not include illegal or infringing content, and that your game will be consistent with your marketing materials. In our pre-release review, we will evaluate the output of AI-generated content in your game the same way we evaluate all non-AI content – including a check that your game meets those promises.
  • Live-Generated: Any kind of content created with the help of AI tools while the game is running. In addition to following the same rules as Pre-Generated AI content, this comes with an additional requirement: 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.

Users to report illegal content on Steam

Valve plans to use “much of the disclosure” on the Steam Store page for the game, giving players a better indication of what has been used where.

Interestingly, players will also be able to report content in games they believe is illegal using a new tool. This will be available on games that use live-generated AI content and will act as something of a protection mechanism should the AI go rogue, presumable with things such as racist or adult material.

Whether this will appease gamers outraged at the sight of a wonky finger in a screenshot remains to be seen, but it will, in theory at least, highlight quickly, just how much the use of AI has permeated into the game creation space.

Featured Image: Partially AI-generated by Ideogram

Paul McNally

Paul has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. He spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Former champion shoot ’em-up legend.


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