Steam has changed the policies behind its online game store to allow the sale of everything unless deemed illegal or “straight up trolling”.
After several controversial games were released on Steam’s game store, many customers deemed them offensive and were shocked to see them. Games such as Active Shooter, a controversial game in which players assume the role of a high-school shooter, caused outrage among customers.
Active Shooter was referred to as “Appalling” and “horrendous”, a prime example of games that would be considered as “trolling” under Valve’s new policies. Valve, a video game publisher and the owner of Steam and it’s online store, has spoken about how it’s not for them to choose which games can and can’t be sold.
The new policy also raised concerns over other forms of entertainment such as pornographic games. As Steam’s online play store is also dependant on HTC’s Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, HTC refused to comment while speaking to BBC.
Oculus did, however, comment on its policies regarding VR pornography and said that “We won’t distribute pornographic material through the Oculus Store,” and “As is the case with many devices, people can access content for Rift through sources outside of our store, in which case that content may not follow our guidelines.”
Easy Way Out?
Valve’s new changes have stirred up talks about what clarifies as “trolling” and how many controversial games will have a chance to surface again without the worry of being removed from Steam’s store.
GamesRadar news editor, Rachel Webber spoke to BBC, saying: It’s important to remember that Valve takes a significant cut of everything sold through Steam, so it’s putting itself in a position where it could directly profit from racist and sexist content.”
The change raises concerns about what sort of games will surface and be available to any customer accessing the store at any given time.