After spending the last half-year pondering it, Valve is officially opening the floodgates for the “vast majority” of AI games to release on Steam.
Back in July 2023, Valve said it didn’t want to discourage AI games from releasing on Steam, after a developer claimed their AI-made game had been delisted from the storefront. Today, Valve has published its updated stance on the topic, paving the way for AI games to launch on Steam.
Firstly, Valve is updating its Content Survey that devs must fill out when submitting their games to Steam. It now includes a new AI section, where devs will need to describe how they utilize AI in the development and “execution” of their game.
The disclosure is divided into two categories. The first is “pre-generated,” which includes any content created with AI tools. The devs must pledge to Valve that their game “will not include illegal or infringing content,” and that their “game will be consistent with your marketing materials.”
After this, Valve will analyze all AI content in its “pre-release review” stage, to check that all the AI meets the promises the developer previously pledged. Valve claims this is fundamentally the same way that it would review all non-AI generated content in games.
The second disclosure category is for “live-generated” AI. This is for any in-game content “created with the help of AI tools while the game is running.” This is not only following the same guidelines as the pre-generated AI content, but devs must also prove to Valve that “guardrails” are in place to stop live-generated AI from generating any illegal content.
Much of this disclosure from the form will be published on the game’s Steam storefront page, Valve also notes. This is to help potential customers understand how much of said game has actually been developed using AI, and what the AI in a game is doing, Valve writes.
Finally, there’ll be a brand new reporting system for players to notify Valve when AI in a game is generating illegal content. Players will be able to report a game via an overlay when they believe it has generated illegal content that should’ve been caught by the aforementioned “guardrails.”
“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,” Valve writes. “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 concludes by apologizing to players and developers alike that it’s taken so long for it to publish their guidelines on AI-generated content in games on Steam. The company also notes that it’ll be revisiting this decision whenever it deems it necessary in future.
Check out our upcoming PC games guide for a look over all the new titles arriving on Steam later this year.