Nexus Mods clarifies AI-generated content is “not against our rules” following controversy among communities

A fallout 4 synth next to a Skyrim guard.
Credit: Bethesda.

A fallout 4 synth next to a Skyrim guard.
Credit: Bethesda.

Modders have put an awful lot of effort into making sure games like Skyrim and Fallout 4 have continually evolved and expanded in the years since they were first released into the world.

Many of their works, especially those that send you off on fresh adventures to do things like investigate conspiracies as a post-apocalyptic detective or earn some killer Daedric abilities while making tough choices, have historically relied solely on the creations and voices of real people to bring their narratives to life.

However, with a growing number of works that use AI technology to generate aspects of their mods, such as voices for dialogue, having arrived in recent months and caused a lot of controversy within some modding communities, Nexus Mods has now elected to issue a statement clarifying its stance on works that use AI generation.

What’s your view on mods for games like Skyrim that use AI generation?

This announcement, written by Community Manager Pickysaurus, can be found in a news post on the platform, which states its current stance is that: “AI-generated mod content is not against our rules, but may be removed if we receive a credible complaint from an affected creator/rights holder. If you're not the creator/rights holder, we ask that you don't submit file reports.”

“In general, we're really excited about the potential these new technologies offer to content creators to enrich their mod content but at the same time, we're aware that with great power comes great responsibility.” says the post regarding the Nexus Mods team’s discussions on the impact of the AI on modding, adding: “These tools do have a potential for abuse and there are arguments to be made about the impact of misusing them.”

In line with this ethos, the team has concluded that the site’s existing File Submission Guidelines don’t currently require any changes in order to effectively police the use of AI in mods.

That said, Pickysaurus emphasises: “Our feeling is that the decisions we make around acceptable content represent the modding community as a whole and we'd hate to sour the opinion of modding in the eyes of industry professionals by refusing to act on reasonable requests to remove content.”

As such, parties such as voice actors, artists, and developers who feel that a mod using AI-generated content is “damaging to them” or incorporates their work without having first gained permission are encouraged to refer to the platform’s guidelines or “use the ‘Report Abuse’ button found on the mod page”.

Pickysaurus also adds regarding the platform’s planned next steps: “We will be keeping a close eye on any legal precedents set as this technology matures and may update our policies to reflect the landscape. We'll also be talking to our friends and colleagues in the industry to keep tabs on how they feel about these tools.”

Regardless of how you feel about the use of AI in modding, make sure to follow us for in-depth coverage of some very interesting mods and check out our mods of the month for March 2023.

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