×

Valve Will Allow Anything on Steam Gaming Store That Is Not Illegal or ‘Trolling’

Valve will no longer be policing games on the Steam Store that stir up controversy, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. The distribution platform wrote that it ultimately decided that they will allow all content that they determine is not illegal or “straight up trolling.”

“Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see,” Valve’s Erik Johnson wrote.

The decision comes just a week after Valve pulled “Active Shooter” from Steam, a controversial title described as a “school shooting simulation.”

Valve was put under pressure to remove the title from the Steam Store after it drew negative attention from the public, and pulled it before its original June 6 release date. In the game, players could choose to be members of the SWAT team taking down the shooter, or the titular school shooter.

The decision to remove the game will stand under Valve’s new standard, as they told Variety in a statement that developer Ata Berdyev is a known “troll” with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. Berdyev was found to be operating under numerous names on Steam, and had previously been removed from the platform under the names “[bc]Interactive” and “Elusive Team” before creating the names “Acid” and “Revived Games” to publish “Active Shooter.”

Popular on Variety

As for how Steam plans to put this new policy into effect, they are candid that they will likely “continue to struggle” with the issue, noting that the current plan is to firmly request that game developers reveal “potentially problematic content in their games during the submission process” and cut off business with those who are dishonest in revealing details.

They will also continue performing their own technical evaluations of each game that is put on the Steam Store.

Further, Valve plans to enhance tools already available that are currently “too hidden and not nearly comprehensive enough” to help hide games that users don’t want to see or don’t want their children to see when browsing the Steam Store. Valve also stated that developers of controversial games need tools and options to avoid harassment, but did not specify what types of tools they will build.

Finally, Valve expressed that allowing the publication of controversial titles will not be a reflection of their values, but emphasized that some games “offending someone shouldn’t take away your game’s voice.”

“We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game. But that’s it,” the announcement states.

Valve will not be making “significant changes” to what’s on their store until they’ve finished building the aforementioned tools for users and developers.

More Gaming

  • Activision-Blizzard-Overwatch-League-Grand-Finals-2018

    YouTube Scores Exclusive Streaming for Activision Blizzard's E-Sports, Including Overwatch and Call of Duty Leagues

    YouTube landed a multiyear deal as the exclusive live-streaming partner for Activision Blizzard’s e-sports events worldwide, including Overwatch League, Call of Duty League, Hearthstone Esports. The agreement (which excludes China) promises to give a big boost to YouTube Gaming, the video giant’s dedicated home for all things related to games. It’s also a loss for [...]

  • Conan Unconquered

    Tencent Bids for Control of Funcom 'Conan' Games Developer

    China’s social media and gaming giant Tencent is bidding to buy control of Funcom, developer of the “Conan” and “Dune” games. The bid values the Norwegian company at $148 million. Tencent already owns 29% of Funcom, and its bid has been unanimously approved by Funcom’s board of directors. No management changes are planned. The shares [...]

  • 100 Thieves

    Esports Organization 100 Thieves Unveils New Facility in Los Angeles

    As of Wednesday, popular esports organization 100 Thieves has an official home in Los Angeles. The group unveiled its new 15,000 square-foot facility, officially named the 100 Thieves Cash App Compound, in a media preview with some of its biggest personalities and investor Scooter Braun on hand. Also in attendance was Jack Dorsey, the CEO [...]

  • Marvel-Strike-Force-FoxNext

    Disney Sells FoxNext Games Unit to Scopely

    Disney has sold off FoxNext Games, the studio it obtained through the purchase of 20th Century Fox, to mobile-games developer Scopely. Terms of the pact were not disclosed. Under the terms of the pact, Scopely is acquiring FoxNext Games Los Angeles, the game studio behind hit game “Marvel Strike Force,” and San Jose-based Cold Iron [...]

  • Call of Duty The Campaign

    Watch the First Episode of New Call of Duty League Docuseries 'The Campaign' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Even a new league comes with history. That’s one of the takeaways from the first episode of “The Campaign,” which follows the Chicago Huntsmen in the lead-up to Activision Blizzard’s new franchised Call of Duty League. Variety is debuting the first episode exclusively, which details some of the narrative that follows the Huntsmen (based in [...]

  • Vindex - Imax

    Imax Jumps Into Esports in Exclusive Pact With Startup Vindex

    Hold on to your popcorn: An Imax location near you could soon be beaming live competitive video-game action onto its big screens. Imax has inked a partnership with Vindex (vindex.gg), an esports infrastructure startup formed by Major League Gaming co-founders Mike Sepso and Sundance DiGiovanni, under which Vindex will create esports events and experiences exclusively [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content