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Developers say Valve blocks AI games from Steam

Update: Valve says it's not "discouraging" AI-generated content and that Steam's "review process is a reflection of current copyright law and policies"

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Update, July 3, 2023: Valve has clarified its view on AI-generated content, saying it doesn't "discourage the use of it on Steam" but is "working through how to integrate it into [its] already-existing review policies."

In a statement sent to, a Valve spokesperson said that Steam's current "review process is a reflection of current copyright law and policies, not an added layer of [its] opinion."

The spokesperson also talked about the "legal uncertainty relating to data used to train AI models" and how that's the responsibility of the developer to "have the appropriate rights to ship their game."

Here's the statement in full:

"We are continuing to learn about AI, the ways it can be used in game development, and how to factor it in to our process for reviewing games submitted for distribution on Steam. Our priority, as always, is to try to ship as many of the titles we receive as we can. The introduction of AI can sometimes make it harder to show a developer has sufficient rights in using AI to create assets, including images, text, and music. In particular, there is some legal uncertainty relating to data used to train AI models. It is the developer's responsibility to make sure they have the appropriate rights to ship their game.

"We know it is a constantly evolving tech, and our goal is not to discourage the use of it on Steam; instead, we're working through how to integrate it into our already-existing review policies. Stated plainly, our review process is a reflection of current copyright law and policies, not an added layer of our opinion. As these laws and policies evolve over time, so will our process.

"We welcome and encourage innovation, and AI technology is bound to create new and exciting experiences in gaming. While developers can use these AI technologies in their work with appropriate commercial licenses, they can not infringe on existing copyrights.

"Lastly, while App-submission credits are usually non-refundable, we're more than happy to offer them in these cases as we continue to work on our review process."

Original story, June 30, 2023: Valve, owner of Steam, is reportedly shifting from accepting AI-made games on its digital store.

The news was first reported by an AI game developer that shared their rejection letter on Reddit nearly a month ago.

Valve's rejection letter, in part, said, "After reviewing, we have identified intellectual property in [Game Name Here] which appears to belongs 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."

The Reddit user was not the only creator who saw their AI content blocked by Valve.

Grey Alien Games developer Jake Birkett also cited a trusted source in posting a picture of another Valve rejection letter on Twitter, this one specifying that Valve had the same rule for AI-generated text as well as art. has reached out to Valve for comment.

Additional contribution by Marie Dealessandri

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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