Steam rejects games with AI-generated assets

While companies don't care about the murky ethical status of generative AI, they care about its murky legal status. According to an indie game developer's post on Reddit (which has since been taken down, with a partial archive here), their game was rejected by Valve's game distributor Steam (the largest video game storefront on the Internet) simply for containing AI-generated assets. Valve's logic seems to be sound: AI creates 'art' by scraping huge amounts of human-made material, a lot of which is copyrighted and could lead to legal trouble later down to the line. Their full statement is as follows:


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 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.

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.

Discussion among AI enthusiasts on a followup post ranges from the optimistic to the utterly detached from reality, with one Redditor boldly stating that "this can't possibly be sustainable for Steam", like the makers of some of the best games of all time depend on AI-generated shovelware to keep the lights on. If devs don't want to hire artists or modelers – or put the work in to learn those skills themselves – it's hardly Valve's problem that they don't feel confident in selling their game.

…And finally, as a cherry on top, the specific game in question here is called Hentai Puzzles: Attack On Tight Panties, retails for a single dollar, and is exactly what you'd expect. I can see why people think Steam is missing out.