Valve Is Giving Developers a Headache
Valve generated quite a stir when it threatened to remove many of Steam’s popular erotic games, causing them to roll back their threats and release a blog post outlining their stance on offensive content. Essentially, they’re accepting all games except those that “are illegal, or straight-up trolling.”
“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,” said Valve’s Erik Johnson of Steam’s new content policy.
“We rejected Active Shooter because it was a troll, designed to do nothing but generate outrage and cause conflict through its existence,” said Valve representative Doug Lombardi, offering a bit of clarification on the company’s definition of “trolling.”
But even after defining their position, developers are still a bit confused. Radiator developer Robert Yang recently spoke on his frustrations with Valve’s inconsistent content policy.
“I’ve talked to one Valve rep, and I’m like, ‘I want to put this kind of content on Steam,’ and the Valve rep responded, ‘Yeah, that seems okay, I’ll let you know if we change our mind,’” he said. “Which doesn’t provide any certainty. It puts developers in a weird position because we have to guess how Valve’s mind will change on something. It’s like three layers of guessing.”
And Leaf Corcoran, founder of the indie-friendly PC storefront itch.io, flat-out disagrees Valve’s new position on content management.
“A platform that allows ‘everything, unless it’s illegal or straight up trolling’ is ridiculous,” he said. “Please keep your malicious, derogatory, discriminatory, bullying, harassing, demeaning content off [itch.io]. Our ban buttons are ready.” –
As of now, it seems like Valve’s policy is causing more confusion than anything. Hopefully, the developer and distribution company will continue to evolve their policy and give developers a bit more clarification as to what is going to cause them problems when it comes to getting their game on Steam.