A few weeks ago, there was some controversy surrounding Valve’s decision to force developers to alter sexually explicit games otherwise they would be pulled from the Steam service. Numerous websites touted that their games would be welcome and that they wouldn’t discriminate against their content. The backlash was felt at Valve’s headquarters and they made an announcement that they are, not only, retracting their policy but now widening it to allow any and all games onto the Steam platform so long as they are not illegal or trolling.
Valve wrote a blog post to explain their stance on their new policy:
“We ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn’t be the ones deciding this. If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.”
Valve stated that they have employed curators to check the content of games submitted to the Steam network; however, that will no longer be the case. Instead, all games will be allowed on Steam except for those that are blatantly illegal or trolling. Valve stated that they will be the ones to decide whether a game falls into either of those categories and if they do, they reserve all rights to reject them. To do this, the company is building new tools to give users greater control over what kind of games they see in the Steam store. There will also be new tools available to developers, such as tools to help with review bombing or general harassment.
The new tools will allow you to hide games based on what keywords you add to a filter. For example, if you don’t want to see games with “magic” then games with those keywords will be filtered out of your search results and the store as a whole. The company plans to update the store only when all of the tools are implemented. Until then, there won’t be any updates to the Steam storefront.