Steam Opening the Gates

A new post on the Steam Blog discusses "Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store" in light of recent questions about Valve's policies regarding games that include adult content and controversial topics. It's a lengthy discussion of the issues involved and the history of their policies. They then announce that their new policy going forward is to allow all content "except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling." Here's their conclusion:
So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don't think should exist. Unless you don't have any opinions, that's guaranteed to happen. But you're also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.

It also means that the games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valveā€™s values, beyond a simple belief that you all have the right to create & consume the content you choose. The two points above apply to all of us at Valve as well. If you see something on Steam that you think should not exist, it's almost certain that someone at Valve is right there with you.

To be explicit about that - if we allow your game onto the Store, it does not mean we approve or agree with anything you're trying to say with it. If you're a developer of offensive games, this isn't us siding with you against all the people you're offending. There will be people throughout the Steam community who hate your games, and hope you fail to find an audience, and there will be people here at Valve who feel exactly the same way. However, offending someone shouldn't take away your game's voice. We believe you should be able to express yourself like everyone else, and to find others who want to play your game. But that's it.

In the short term, we won't be making significant changes to what's arriving on Steam until we've finished some of the tools we've described in this post. As we've hopefully managed to convey, navigating these issues is messy and complicated. Countries and societies change their laws and cultural norms over time. We'll be working on this for the foreseeable future, both in terms of what products we're allowing, what guidelines we communicate, and the tools we're providing to developers and players.
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Re: No Man's Sky NEXT Adds Multiplayer in July
Jun 7, 2018, 09:48
Watter
 
51.
Re: No Man's Sky NEXT Adds Multiplayer in July Jun 7, 2018, 09:48
Jun 7, 2018, 09:48
 Watter
 
Prez wrote on Jun 7, 2018, 08:09:
Steam does not have the power to determine that you can or can't purchase something nor should it. It has the power (and obligation in my view) soley to determine what it does and doesn't sell on its own storefront.
That's the first argument against this move by steam that was persusasive and didn't make me roll my eyes.

I see two ways to look at it.

1) Steam is still the defacto marketplace for PC games. That's changing, thankfully, but it still owns the lion's share of the market. Any curation effort will be imperfect and games that some people might be interested in will be left out of that marketplace. I don't want anyone narrowing my choices. As long as there are filters, which is in Steams own best interest to provide, let it fly. I don't think anyone should be limiting other people's choices - and again, given steam's position as the defacto PC games marketplace, if it's not on Steam, it's almost not in the PC games market.

We all have a tendency to believe that the items we don't care about, nobody cares about. Example: Goat Simulator? What they hell?!? That almost certainly wouldn't have made it past my own personal curation process in its initial rough form, but some people enjoyed it and given time it became something that even more people picked up.

2) Do people really have trouble finding things they're interested in? I use steam a quite a bit, and I don't recall having to sift through crap to find interesting games. It isn't in Steam's best interest financially to make it hard for me to find games I'm interested in and purchase them; however if I do want to go on a hidden treasure hunt for something more obsucre, the option is there.

3) We live in a bigger (and smaller) world than ever before. It used to be that a niche interest might have too small a market to make sense to provide product for, but no more. A "niche" might be hundreds of thousands (or even millions) of people. Even if you believe in limiting options, which I don't, how do you curate when niches are so varied and large? .001% of the market these days is still large enough for some people to make product for.

----

I frequently see people buying products (crap, in my mind) that I literally cannot fathom ANYONE ever buying. I can either believe that these people are dumb and need someone smarter looking out for them OR I can accept that there might be some value in those things that I just don't see and that those people are different enough from me that they want something else that I can't understand. The "live and let live" side of me just shrugs and moves on. As long as I can find what I want, let those folks get their kicks where they want.


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