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Artificial Intelligence Gaming on Steam Redefining the Future of Play

The gaming industry takes a giant leap into the future as Valve Corporation welcomes AI-driven game development to its platform, Steam. Get ready for an unprecedented fusion of technology and entertainment!

In a groundbreaking move, Valve Corporation, the powerhouse behind Steam, has officially opened its doors to games developed with the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI). As AI continues to weave itself into the fabric of our society, the gaming industry is now at the forefront of embracing this transformative technology.

The use of AI in game development has faced much criticism as an increasing number of game developers are trying to use this technology. For example, back in 2023 Micrsoft struck a deal with an AI company called AI World to create new tools for game development that utilize AI. Other big players such as Ubisoft and Tencent are also not shying away from AI with their adoption of Nvidia Ace technology which generates AI NPC characters. Meanwhile the resistance to the unfettered use of AI is growing with strikes against AI tools using the voices of voice actors in game development. Also ZeniMax Workers United-CWA has won an agreement to guide the implementation of AI in the ZeniMax game development in order to protect their jobs and implement AI in a responsible manner.

Valve Corperation is of course also affected by the these developments due to company being the owner of the world largest video game digital distribution service and storefront called Steam. Valve has long been thinking about this matter with the company already saying in June 2023 that they were trying to figure out how to handle the matter of AI being used in game development. It appears also that One of Valve’s biggest competitors Epic Games has tried to use Valve’s apprehensive attitude towards AI in game development when Epic Games called out Valve for banning a game on steam that was powered by ChatGPT.

The CEO of Epic games Tim Sweeny stated “We don’t ban games for using new technologies,”. We can assume this incident played a role in Valves current decision in order to not appear to resistant to the use and advancement of AI technology. So on January 10th, 2024 the company posted their decision on SteamWorks about this matter and that this decision is to allow the large majority of games that use the technology to be released on Steam. In order to ensure that these games do not do anything illegal, an AI disclosure section has been added to the content survey that developers must complete before Valve releases the game. In this section there are two categories in which developers must explain exactly how AI has been used.

To sum it up, firstly there is the pre-generated AI content category. This concerns any content where AI was used in the development process and the legality of that content. The content may not be illegal or infringing and must be in line with how the game was marketed. All this content will be judged at the same way that non AI powered content is judged. Then secondly is the live-generated AI content category which is about in game AI generated content which comes with the same rules as pre-generated content. Furthermore this section requires developers to show which guardrails they have put in place to ensure that the generated content doesn’t do anything illegal.

Additionally any 18+ sexual content that is live generated by AI is prohibited. If everything is approved then the game will be released together with the a lot of the information that the developers provided in the survey which will then be put on the games steam page to ensure transparency for the consumers. Of course it is entirely possible some things slip through the cracks so Valve will add a Steam tool that players can use to report on what they suspect is illegal or infringement content.

All things considered in all this seems like a fair and well though out decision on Valve’s part, but the company is aware that AI is a constantly evolving technology and that has stated that they will “continue to learn from the games being submitted to Steam, and the legal progress around AI, and will revisit this decision when necessary.” The question remains: Can Valve and the gaming industry keep pace with the rapid advancements in AI? Only time will unveil this captivating journey into the future of gaming.

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