Not to worry if you’ve already purchased any of the 179 titles removed — your copy is safe. Of course, the vast majority of titles removed are probably not of concern to the larger Steam community, as it means less junk to wade through.
These removals are in line with Valve’s policy, revealed in June, to avoid policing content other than that which is illegal or “straight up trolling.” That policy was enacted after controversy stirred over “Active Shooter,” an unreleased game that would depict and allow players to take part in a school shooting that was pulled from Steam in May.
On Sept. 5, Valve revealed some modifications to how users can find games and ignore games that aren’t of interest. It also revealed further along in that post why its trolling policy is so vague. Valve explained that many of the trolling games are more accurately described as “game shaped objects,” meaning something that is just barely a “functioning video game” and would not qualify as “good” by the majority of people. Basically, these game shaped objects are not meant to be good games, but have more insidious purposes.
“Some trolls are trying to scam folks out of their Steam inventory items,” Valve wrote. “Others are looking for a way to generate a small amount of money off Steam through a series of schemes that revolve around how we let developers use Steam keys. Others are just trying to incite and sow discord. Trolls are figuring out new ways to be loathsome as we write this. But the thing these folks have in common is that they aren’t actually interested in good faith efforts to make and sell games to you or anyone. When a developer’s motives aren’t that, they’re probably a troll.”