Valve will not ban controversial games from Steam

Valve has decided not to ban controversial games from Steam. The company will take action against games that are illegal or amount to ‘straight up trolling’. Valve is working on tools to give players more control over what they see on the platform.

Valve believes that it should not decide for itself what goes into the Steam Store and that this decision should be in the hands of players and developers, it explains in a blog post. That’s why the company has decided to allow all kinds of games on Steam, with the exception of games that are illegal, or, in Valve’s words, amount to ‘straight up trolling’. The latter is a vague norm and still leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

The discussion surrounding Valve’s policy and current decision follows the company’s removal of the Active Shooter game. That game revolved around high school shootings, where the player can enter a school as a shooter to cause death and destruction, or take on the role of a SWAT agent. Valve said it removed the game because it sees the creator as a troll. The developer had previously released games that were later removed because, according to Valve, he had violated copyrights and manipulated reviews in the past.

In the current announcement, Valve further writes that it wants to develop tools for players that allow them to have more influence on the games they see on the Store. For example, they must be able to turn off a certain recommendation display and hide certain games by the Steam algorithm. The company also believes that developers who create controversial games should not be harassed for that reason. Valve also wants to develop tools for this, but the company does not say what they will look like.

Screenshot from Active Shooter