In a new community blog, Valve said it would be updating the platform’s content surgery with a new “AI disclosure section” asking developers to describe how their games use AI content. Valve separates the content between pre-generated and live-generated AI, the latter of which much include guardrails in order to keep it from creating illegal content.
Valve said that “much” of the disclosure will appear on the Steam store page so customers understand how the game they’re buying uses AI. Additionally, Valve plans to release a new system allowing players to report illegal content within games containing live-generated AI.
The rapid rise of generative AI has sparked a heated debate over the ethics of its usage within the games industry. Earlier today, video game voice actors expressed worry and confusion over a SAG-AFTRA deal with an AI studio. Generative AI is also being increasingly used in cheapy-produced games intended to turn a quick profit, many of which are finding their way to Steam.
Back in 2023, Valve said it was “continuing to learn about AI” and “the ways it can be used in game development.” Today, Valve apologized to “taking some time to figure this out,” but also said it didn’t want to rush into its new policy.
“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. The only exception to this will be Adult Only Sexual Content that is created with Live-Generated AI — we are unable to release that type of content right now,” Valve said in its post.
“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.”
For more, check out our deep dive into how AI could affect games, entertainment, and tech going forward, as well as the biggest games coming out in 2024.
Kat Bailey is IGN’s News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.