Steam bans AI content that violate copyright | Inquirer Technology

Steam bans games with copyright-infringing AI content

12:18 AM July 06, 2023

Steam announced it would not allow games with AI content that violates copyrights. It sent a statement to the game journalism website IGN after rumors spread it bans all games with AI-generated visuals. The platform explained it only wants developers to have proper rights for their assets.

We must prepare for the unintended consequences of the progressing artificial intelligence trend. One of the biggest issues is the potential copyright infringement on various media. Soon, video games won’t be the only ones having trouble with AI using copyrighted content.

Generative AI will eventually affect your favorite songs, movies, and other beloved properties. Prepare by learning more about why people thought Steam bans AI content. Later, I will share Steam’s thought process when approving AI assets in video games.


Why did people think Steam avoids AI-generated content?


The misunderstanding started when Redditor potterharry97 shared his problems with submitting a game to Steam. He only intended to submit a rough version of his game with two to three “admittedly obviously AI-generated assets.” Later, Steam shared this message:


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.”


Then, he improved the pieces by hand to remove any AI-generated content. However, potterharry97 thought the platform had already flagged his app for AI-made assets.

Later, Steam’s next message confirmed his suspicions. Other Redditors saw the message and thought Steam bans AI content for games, eventually spreading as an online rumor.

How did Steam respond?

This is the Steam logo.

Photo Credit:

Many gamers responded negatively to the alleged AI ban. Other websites like the computer review website Notebook Check cited popular titles that use AI-generated art. For example, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator had “construct over 1.5 billion photorealistic 3D buildings” in its environments.

Contrary to popular belief, Steam is aware artificial intelligence is becoming more common in game development. In response to the online rumors, its company, Valve, shared the following statement to IGN:

“We are continuing to learn about AI, the ways it can be used in game development, and how to factor it into 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.”


Online rumors spread that Steam rejects AI content after refusing to publish a Redditor’s game. However, its company, Valve, only wanted developers to follow copyright laws.

The video game platform admitted it is still learning to adjust to the ever-evolving artificial intelligence technologies. Nowadays, numerous countries struggle to define copyright in the age of AI.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Learn more about these issues in this other article. Moreover, Inquirer Tech helps you learn more about other tips and trends in artificial intelligence.

TOPICS: AI, Copyright, Gaming, interesting topics, Trending
TAGS: AI, Copyright, Gaming, interesting topics, Trending

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.