Valve Comments on Steam's Content Policies, Promises to Allow Everything That is Not Illegal or 'Trolling'

posted on by Karen Ressler
Company plans to allow uses to filter their own store content

Valve's Erik Johnson posted a statement from Valve on the official Steam Blog Wednesday regarding content allowed on its PC game platform Steam. The company confirmed in the statement that, going forward, it plans to allow everything on the Steam Store except submissions that are illegal or "straight up trolling."

Johnson added that Valve will "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." The company will implement new systems for customers to override recommendations and hide content they do not want.

"So if you don't want to see anime games on your Store, you'll be able to make that choice," the statement read. "If you want more options to control exactly what kinds of games your kids see when they browse the Store, you'll be able to do that."

Furthermore, Johnson promised that Valve will build tools and options to support developers who deal with harassment because of their controversial games.

Valve will not be making any significant changes to Steam content until these tools are complete.

Johnson clarified that, thus far, decisions about Steam content have not been automated or influenced by third parties. The team at Valve has reviewed games for adult or violent content, and other controversial topics such as "politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on."

Johnson acknowledged that legality varies by country, so this will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Valve plans to ask developers to disclose potentially problematic content and "cease doing business with any of them that refuse to do so honestly."

Other considerations have included "what constitutes a 'game'" and "what quality is appropriate." Johnson noted that Valve will still perform technical evaluations and reject games that don't pass.

The statement is apparently in response to recent community discussion regarding what games are allowed on Steam. Several developers of anime-style adult games recently reported receiving notices from Steam asking them to remove adult content that was previously allowed, though the notices were later withdrawn pending further review.

Valve also recently removed a game simulating a school shooting from Steam. In a statement to the press, Valve explained that the developer is "a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation," and that it would not do business with him for this reason. The company did not discuss Steam's content policies at the time.

Source: Steam Blog

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