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Valve's new policy on Steam games splits opinions among devs

Valve's new policy on Steam games splits opinions among devs

June 7, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell

June 7, 2018 | By Emma Kidwell
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Game developers seem to be split in their opinions after Valve announced yesterday that it has no plans to police games that are published to its digital storefront Steam. Instead, the company choosing to focus on creating tools that will allow players to filter games they aren’t interested in from their own personalized feeds.

Many game developers have gone to Twitter to express their thoughts over Valve's statement, which also notes that even internally, there are debates over what games should and shouldn’t be allowed on Steam.

That post goes on to acknowledge that the people behind this decision knew firsthand that “there’s no way to avoid making a bunch of people mad when making decisions in this space.”

The sentiment seems to ring true, as Valve's hands-off approach over who is allowed to be published on its platform has developers disagreeing over its content policy.

 As Valve pointed out, the problem isn’t so much if games with adult or violent content should be allowed on its platform, but rather, if the store should contain “games with an entire range of  controversial topics - politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on.”

While some have expressed their support for digital marketplaces enforcing stricter policies around moderating content, others voice concerns over giving companies too much power over enforcing certain morals or censorship. 

Among these developers is digital marketplace founder Leaf Corcoran, who described Valve's new  policy on Steam content as "ridiculous" and "out of touch", raising concerns that the shift will result in a variety of problematic content proliferating on Valve's store. Here's a small sample of the discussion happening among game devs.

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