Home Gaming Valve is now taking a “hands-off” approach to what’s allowed on Steam

Valve is now taking a “hands-off” approach to what’s allowed on Steam

2 min read


Digital storefront owner and infrequent game developer Valve recently came under fire for something many deemed prudish; removing many games and adult visual novels that featured sex, anime tiddies, or sex with anime tiddies. It was especially frowned upon because Valve keeps letting games with wanton, gratuitous violence onto its store, because murder is more natural than carnal pleasure.

Here’s the thing: Valve shouldn’t be deciding what’s morally right or wrong. It should be up to consumers to decide if they want to play games that demean women, portray graphic violence or are tasteful, thoughtful ones about throbbing, disembodied dicks thrusting themselves up buttholes. Of course, that doesn’t mean that games that shitty games are above reproach and just criticism – and it’s okay to call out games and other media that are racist and sexist and all of the other unwanted ists. Valve is now taking a much more hands-off approach to the content on Steam.

“Valve shouldn’t be the ones deciding this. If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.”

Valve does, however, draw the line at games that are illegal, or “straight up trolling.” That means the recently axed game that allows players to pretend to be a school shooter, and other trollish games that primarily use asset flips still won’t have a home on Steam.

“With that principle in mind, 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. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.”

While this may be a good thing for creative freedom, it does also mean that Steam – already overflowing with low-quality rubbish – may only get worse.

Last Updated: June 7, 2018


  1. Lord Chaos

    June 7, 2018 at 08:01

    I’m fine with this. Add some more check boxes so we can exclude certain results from showing in our SteamApp. People are getting way to whiny.


  2. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 7, 2018 at 08:15

    Wait… the current system was Valve being hands-on? Well fuck me sideways.


    • Lord Chaos

      June 7, 2018 at 08:26

      Wasn’t that bad, just setup your store preferences.


      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 7, 2018 at 08:35

        I would never have thought of that. Oh wait… I did, and I did.


        • Lord Chaos

          June 7, 2018 at 08:44

          I understand, technology can be hard for you old timers 😛


          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 7, 2018 at 08:51

            Get off my lawn, Millenniel.

          • Lord Chaos

            June 7, 2018 at 08:53

            That’s a good one, but I’m not that young

      • WickedMONK3Y

        June 7, 2018 at 09:03

        I have a whole stack of preferences set up in the store that specifically exclude JRPG, Anime etc. as I really have no interest in visual novels and most games that feature busty anime women etc. etc. and yet they don’t seem to work properly as a bunch of them still manage to sneak through forcing me to flag them all as “Not interested” so the preferences work to a point but the system is still flawed. However people should be able to police themselves with what they buy at the end of the day, most… “most” people have morals and decency so we should be ok…. right? right?…..


        • Lord Chaos

          June 7, 2018 at 09:51

          Fair enough, I only see the store during sale time, but I set up my prefs and I think the last time I said not interested was 2+ years ago going through that list of 15 for steam cards


  3. Kromas

    June 7, 2018 at 08:29

    This is my approach to the steam store. Learn about game from somewhere else. Buy it on steam.


  4. BakedBagel

    June 7, 2018 at 08:30

    This eliminates the entire “I dont like this, so others shouldnt enjoy it”
    aye, power to the consumer.


  5. Gavin Mannion

    June 7, 2018 at 08:32

    This is a much better way, it is always better to trust humanity to use their own common decency and… oh shit this is all going to end badly isn’t it?


    • Mark Treloar

      June 7, 2018 at 11:07

      Decency is not common to everyone


  6. G8crasha

    June 7, 2018 at 09:08

    I’m kinda on the fence with this one. I would hate to see Valve become home to tons of Hentai crap, but then, there are some legitimately good adult anime games and visual novels that were denied a place on Steam.


  7. Magoo

    June 7, 2018 at 09:46

    This is great, so long as this is true:

    Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.


  8. Guz

    June 7, 2018 at 10:11

    This sounds more like a cop out to me, if there’s any controversy they just put up their hands and say it wasn’t up to them.
    I’m all for creative freedom, but its their market place so they must ultimately be responsible what content they host


  9. Caveshen Rajman

    June 7, 2018 at 10:47

    It’s crazy to see how polarising this news is – most publications are (unsurprisingly) outright condemning it, whereas most gamers (and thankfully you guys) are welcoming the news.

    I find it staggering that the same places that argue for games as art look to regularly and routinely police what is considered art and what isn’t. It’s so disingenuous. This decision from Steam, to me, sounds like a smart one because it finally addresses what essentially is and isn’t Steam-worthy, and draws a hard line in the sand while letting the market dictate what works and what doesn’t. That’s how things should always work, not this “TAKE THIS AWAY BECAUSE SEEING NEWS OF IT HURT MY EYES ONCE” and other equally bullshit things.

    I’m not sure what algorithms Steam uses for recommending content, but I have honestly never had an issue browsing games on there before, and if I see something I don’t like I click the “Don’t show me games like this” button and I legit never see shit like that again. Imagine that world, where the user has the power to curate content and not the fucking ever-changing zeitgeist.


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