Valve sparked quite an outrage earlier this year when they announced the removal of dating sims and visuals novels that was part of a new set of regulations and filters. Due to the backlash, they gave up on the plan but instead to look for a different solution that let people filter out the content that they don’t want to see. Now that Valve has had some time to develop these new tools they have finally announced them in an extensive blog post earlier today.
The new search optimization system basically comes in the form of 3 groups of changes that are being made. The first group focuses on improving how people can find new games through Steam. This is done by giving developers homepages which you can follow so that you will be notified when a developer you like is publishing a new game. The upcoming games page will also receive massive changes so that it’s more up to date and easier to navigate.
The second set of changes will make it easier for people to ignore certain games. With the new updates, we will be able to ignore much more content in the Steam store, such as developers, curators, or even entire genres. You can also add more tags in your account preferences that will ignore certain games and highlight others. However, when you are specifically searching for a game that has certain tags which you have decided to filter out you will still find the game but Steam will notify you that the game contains elements that you wanted to filter out.
The last set of changes is to make it easier for people to filter out mature content. Previously, mature content could be anything from extreme violence to hardcore sex making it quite annoying if you want to filter out porn games but still want to play violent games. New tags have been added that will make it easier to filter out the sex from the violence so you have more control over what you find through Steam.
Developers that publish games with mature content are now also obligated to describe what the mature content actually entails. This gives them a chance to create a better understanding of what kinds of mature content can be found in their game. If the game contains strong language but no nudity they can write this down in the description so that players who are not looking for nudity know that they can play this game.