Valve Releases Statement On Steam Store Content Policies

Valve says removing controversial games from Steam is hard so it’s not going to		
	Lucas Matney

   	7 hours

Piotr Trojanowski | Dreamstime.comVideo game company Valve-which last week was weighed down with the controversy over its hosting of the virtual school simulator Active Shooter (since pulled)-is out with a new content policy.

In its blog post, Valve executive Erik Johnson writes that "Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this". Well, now it seems that Valve is sick of being the one to make decisions, stating that it will allow all content unless it's actually illegal.

A developer was preparing to launch the game "Active Shooter" when online outrage broke out over Memorial Day weekend. The trailer for the game showed a shooter killing people in the halls of what looked like a high school.

Valve just announced one of the biggest news of the year for the company as they are now allowing "everything" on Steam.

Valve will no longer remove games from its Steam game marketplace unless they are "illegal, or straight up trolling", according to a statement from the Bellevue, Wash. -based gaming company posted today. Everything else, though, will be fair game.

Valve responded by removing the game from Steam, and banning its publisher from the service - a huge blow to any publisher, as Steam is the largest digital storefront in the world. You can kill cops and mow down pedestrians in Grand Theft Auto V, which has brought in billions of dollars in revenue single-handedly, but ultimately I think its maker, Rockstar Games, would at least say that they can stand by their game. Valve removed the title from the store, but said it did so because the creator was previously banned and was a "troll".

Due to what sounds like a massive headache, if we're being honest, Valve said it will go "back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam". Valve plans to ask developers to disclose potentially problematic content and "cease doing business with any of them that refuse to do so honestly".

It also means that the games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valve's values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create & consume the content you choose. "Those choices should be yours to make", wrote Johnson.

"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 company says, but decisions to censor will no longer be determined by Valve's own values. So if a player accidentally stumbles upon something triggering, they can't accuse Valve of supporting racist, sexist, or other discriminatory ideologies.

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.

Dealing with controversial content is "messy and complicated", Johnson wrote. This means that they will reject games that don't pass until their issues have been resolved.

But complaints haven't all been about adult or discriminatory content - the new policy says nothing about quality control, which is a growing problem as the volume of titles coming to the platform skyrocket (over 10,000 games are expected to be added to Steam in 2018).

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

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