Valve Devises Filtering Approach for Games to Be Sold on Steam Platform

Apps and Software

A Steam console joystick. / Photo by: Fluburtur via Wikimedia Commons


Valve will soon allow any kind of video game to be sold on the Steam Store except those that are illegal or are straight-up trolling. But it is unlikely that the controversial Active Shooter video game will reappear on the Steam Store even under the new guidelines, according to Rachel Lerman, reporting for the Seattle Times. 

The announcement was made in the aftermath of public outrage over the said video game which simulated a school shooting incident and was set to be released on the Steam Store. The latter is an online marketplace where independent game developers can upload, sell, and have their games played online after paying a small fee to Valve. Because of the public outcry, Valve was forced to pull out the Active Shooter video game, whose trailer showed a shooter killing people in the halls of a typical high school building. 

Valve executive Erik Johnson wrote on a blog post that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that they deem to be illegal or straight-up trolling. Johnson added that Valve is finding it difficult in drawing the line on the kind of game content that should be published on the said game retail site. He claimed that this is the result of different people finding different things offensive. Valve should not be made the final arbiter of what a player can or cannot play or what a developer should or should not create, according to Johnson.

In effect, instead of deciding where to draw the line, Valve has opted not to decide at all. Johnson declared that Valve will soon incorporate tools on Steam that will allow players to filter what types of games they do and do not want to see, and parents can add filters for their children. It will also require developers to disclose controversial content within the games so they can be categorized for players.