Over the last few weeks Valve has ran into a bunch of issues regarding what games are allowed on their platform Steam. Not only was there a mass backlash towards them when a school shooting simulator was available on Steam, they also got a lot of criticism when they announced plans to take down adult visual novels. Regardless of your opinion on these two issues, Valve has been dealing with a lot of criticism and thus in a recent update they have announced that they will give up trying entirely.
Whereas most companies would update their policies after these kinds of issues, Valve has decided that this is way too much effort and thus has given up on trying to censor and remove offensive content. They state, “we’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.” Note that the wording is quite important. Instead of literally anything being allowed, they will still remove things that are illegal (obviously) but also games that are straight up “trolling”. What trolling means is pretty unclear which means that they will probably still remove games that they feel like removing.
They have also said that instead of wasting time banning game after game they will instead be focusing their efforts on improving the way customers find games. They will give customers tools that will override Steam algorithms so that you can hide games that you’re not interested in. What Valve is basically saying is that if you don’t want to see controversial or offensive games in the Steam store it’s your responsibility to hide them and not theirs.
They also state that even though they will allow offensive and controversial games to be on their platform, that does not mean that they agree with the game or the message the game wants to relay. They state, “if we allow your game onto the Store, it does not mean we approve or agree with anything you’re trying to say with it. If you’re a developer of offensive games, this isn’t us siding with you against all the people you’re offending.”
It seems that the new approach in policing is a lot more liberal and gives everyone the right to create and develop what they want. This could either become an industry standard and great for the consumer or it will go down in the history books as an enormous disaster. Whether it will succeed or not is something only time can tell. Be sure to check out the full update yourself as there is a lot of valuable information in there that you should know.