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In their recent announcements, the leading online game stores differed on artificial intelligence (AI) integration. Epic Games indicated welcoming games featuring AI-generated elements including text and art within its digital storefront. 

The move by Epic Games reignites a showdown against rival Valve that announced blocking AI-generated content on the PC platform Steam. The contrasting policies constitute a rare public duel for the gaming giants. 

Epic Games and Valve have engaged in accelerated competition, each increasingly portrayed as the preferred destination for developers targeting court-exclusive releases. 

The ban imposed by Steam is attracting criticism, with Y Combinator chief executive Garry Tan indicating excluding AI in games appears an idiotic move. Epic Games chief executive Tim Sweeney would in a Saturday September 2 tweet critique the cautious stance adopted by Valve towards AI. 

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Sweeney added that AI is a breakthrough technology sweeping and redefining the gaming landscape. He invited publishers to consider uploading their content to the Epic Games Store instead. The executive assured Epic Games Store would not ban games whose developers utilize the new technologies.

AI-Generated Content Differs From AI-Generated Games

Sweeny admits that including AI-generated content hardly translates such development into AI-generated games. The critical factor is the extent of human involvement in developing the game.

Sweeney’s views mirror the fair use concept widely examined within the copyright field. He considers generative AI susceptible to abuse when utilized as a copying mechanism to overtrain. 

Sweeney tweeted on Sunday, September 3 that AI-generated content differs from when one conditions the generative AI to reproduce work imitating human artists intentionally. He 

urged the need to holistically assess the games that integrate machine and human creativity. Doing so is necessary to avoid rejecting games for mere AI involvement.

Epic Games Vocal Endorsement of AI-Generated Content as Steam Shuts Doors

Epic Games is vocally endorsing the games with AI-generated content days after a report emerged of Valve revising its policy to reject such games submitted to Steam. The latter’s policy cites that generative content could prompt copyright issues.

The Valve rejection policy emerged following claims by Reddit user Potterharry 97 of suffering rejection of the game. Valve rebuffed it citing the integration of AI-generated art assets that would expose the game to legal ownership questions.

Valve indicated by restating that while it strives to shop titles submitted, games where developers lack all necessary rights are inadmissible. Valve added that including AI-generated content in games could plunge it into legal issues since the law on training data is unsettled. 

Valve indicated that it would decline the distribution of games where it was uncertain if the underlying AI technology utilized in creating the assets fulfilled the data training rights. 

Valve and Epic Divisive Roadmap Leaves Developers in Bifurcated Landscape

Epic Games to publicly endorse the AI-generated elements mirrors past decisions to embrace technologies banned by competitors. A one-time incident is notable when it embraced blockchain-based games despite Valve banning them in 2021. The latter cited the likelihood of intellectual property in integrating nonfungible tokens (NFT) and cryptocurrencies.

Sweeney staked out the contrasting pole to Valve’s position in a tweet indicating that Epic Games Store would readily welcome games that utilize AI-generated and blockchain technology content. He added that Epic Games Store would require the developers to use blockchain tech to prove compliance with the applicable laws.

Sweeney reiterated the need for games featuring blockchain tech to disclose terms and ascertain their age-rated limits matched to the appropriate group’s content. While Epic would not utilize crypto in the games, it will accommodate innovation in finance and technology areas. 

The divisive roadmap deployed by Valve and Epic would leave developers with a bifurcated landscape on where to debut their creations. The contrasting visions of the two leading gaming platforms leave developers at a crossroads on whether to integrate generative tools and their role in game development.

Editorial credit: nikkimeel / 

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Michael Scott

By Michael Scott

Michael Scott is a skilled and seasoned news writer with a talent for crafting compelling stories. He is known for his attention to detail, clarity of expression, and ability to engage his readers with his writing.