GAMING GIANT Valve will no longer yank games off its Steam platform, as long as said software isn't doing anything illegal or trolling users.
The move was made after controversy was stoked with the removal of games with sexual content, while Valve continued to allow the publishing of titles with tasteless and morally questionable themes such as high school shootings.
Rather than continue with the thankless task of policing all of the content that gets published on the platform and trying to tread a line satisfies all Steam users, Valve has essentially open the doors to Steam wider.
Valve's Erik Johnson explained that it's a struggle to review every game for controversial content that gets submitted for Steam publication, as well as soundly dismissing claims that Valve automates its review process and publishes games based on what it's paid.
"It's just us grappling with a really hard problem," said Johnson, noting that this struggle has lead to confusion among developers and gamers.
"The harsh reality of this space that lies at the root of our dilemma, is that there is absolutely no way we can navigate it without making some of our players really mad," he explained.
"So we ended up going back to one of the principles in the forefront of our minds when we started Steam, and more recently as we worked on Steam Direct to open up the Store to many more developers: Valve shouldn't be the ones deciding this. If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create.
"Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
"With that principle in mind, 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."
Depending on your whether or not you believe games should have free reign in addressing whatever subject they like, controversial or otherwise, Valve's move will either impress or disappoint you.
The result of such a decision will likely mean some rather crass and unpleasant games make it onto Steam, but at the same time, it may mean some gaming gems also work they way to the top that might have been overlooked otherwise. µ
Hashes to hashes
Team Green cranks the Super GPU machine
Also, the moon on a stick