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 Valve’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, 11:04
Beamer
 
55.
Re: No Man's Sky NEXT Adds Multiplayer in July Jun 7, 2018, 11:04
Jun 7, 2018, 11:04
 Beamer
 
007Bistromath wrote on Jun 7, 2018, 10:52:
Beamer wrote on Jun 7, 2018, 10:10:
Prez wrote on Jun 7, 2018, 08:09:
Opinions on whether Steam's inundation of valueless garbage to the point of over-saturation is a problem or irrelevant aside, this narrative that Steam would be "determining for you what you may consume" by having curation is a strawman argument based on fallacy. 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. The distinction is so obvious that I would argue that you would have to be willfully ignorant not to see it.

Wow. Perfectly said. Probably the best said I've seen this argument, and I've seen it a ton over the past 4 years, since whether a store chooses to sell a game became akin to "censoring the developers freedom of speech" to many people.
Whether it's censorship or not is essentially down to whether you're talking about "a store" or "the store." Mainstream retail outlets all behave as a bloc except for their occasional price wars. There's next to nothing you can get at Target that you can't get at Wal-Mart and vice versa. If they don't have something, most people will never be aware it exists.

That's Steam. GOG is pretty much the only meaningful competitor, and they're still spit in the ocean.

Someone can create their own e-commerce store. They can put it on DVDs and sell it. They can mail flash drives to buyers. They can give it away for free.

Their right to say something has not been destroyed. What has been is their right to have someone else sell it, but such a right does not exist. Regardless of what Valve is trying to do here, a store selling something does mean the store vouches for it to many, many consumers. That's not worthwhile in most cases.
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