Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Valve Will Now 'Allow Everything onto the Steam Store'

Cecil Davis | 07 June, 2018, 17:52

"And it's not just players that need better tools either - developers who build controversial content shouldn't have to deal with harassment because their game exists, and we'll be building tools and options to support them too", says Johnson. He then added that by allowing any Steam content on the store, Valve is also effectively authorizing toxicity in the platform.

Under this new policy, Steam may become one of the least regulated digital software storefronts in the Western world. Those choices should be yours to make. To help matters on this front, Valve will "push developers to further disclose any potentially problematic content", during the submission process. Cautioning that deploying those measures to the Steam Store will take some time, the company pledged to eventually allow users to more easily tweak the store's view settings so that entire content categories won't show up, if a user so chooses.

It's possible that Valve will be changing its Steam Direct rules and guidelines, which state that hate speech, pornography, and patently offensive content shouldn't be published on Steam.

Steam is hugely profitable for the company, and we're sure Valve will be closely monitoring whether its hands-off approach is damaging in the long term.

Further, Valve plans to enhance tools already available that are now "too hidden and not almost comprehensive enough" to help hide games that users don't want to see or don't want their children to see when browsing the Steam Store. "If you see something on Steam that you think should not exist, it's nearly certain that someone at Valve is right there with you". The two points above apply to all of us at Valve as well. The distribution platform wrote that it ultimately decided that they will allow all content that they determine is not illegal or "straight up trolling".

The decision, wrote Valve's Erik Johnson, was especially challenging as online discussion continues to swirl over fine-line content controversies - like the recent pre-sale of the incendiary Active Shooter game, which was to include a section allowing gamers to play as a mass murderer.

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"Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen".

In the wake of recent controversies about what sort of game content should and should not be allowed on Steam, Valve has made a decision to "allow everything". "But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist". If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you'll be able to do that. Per the new policy, Valve won't make significant changes to the platform until they've finished some of the tools described in the post.

The new tools are meant to benefit both customers and developers.

If you head through the link to the Steam page where Johnson discusses the changes, you'll find more detailed information than what we pulled from it. He admitted that this meant people would sometimes be offended by what they saw on Steam, and said many games wouldn't be emblematic of Valve's own values.

The company has taken flak in the past for allowing some games with sexually explicit scenes onto Steam, like the critically-acclaimed The Witcher 3, while threatening others with rejection.