Steam Becomes a Platform With Steamy Content but Fewer Trolls

Valve has updated to their Steam content policy after a long reevaluation. With new curation methods in place, the company has better-optimized user ability to sift through (and ignore) the legions of games available on the platform. This has led to the creation of two new content filters in the form of “Mature” and “Adults Only.”

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For greater convenience, Steam has implemented developer and publisher pages that players can follow. This allows players to see updates related to their favorite games from their favorite creators. Additionally, you can view more of the creator’s content or content related to the name under which they publish. Adversely, the number of tags players can ignore has increased from 3 to 10 – You can ignore more games on Steam than ever before. That said, if there’s a certain game you want to play that falls under one of the ignored tags, you will be notified.

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“We did our best to ensure you can safely ignore swaths of games in the store, but still find them if you look directly via the search tool,” Valve wrote on their blog. “If the game that we think you’re searching for is hidden due to your mature content settings, we identify that and let you know in a safe way. For example, if you have your preferences set to hide mature games with violence, but you search for The Witcher 3, you’ll see this: ‘7 titles (including Witcher 3: Wild Hunt) have been excluded based on your preferences’.”

Previously, Steam filters relegated mature-themed games to the labels “Frequent Violence/Gore or Nudity/Sexual”; now, there will be a hard separation between games that are Mature and Adults Only. The latter filter will steer users clear of any games with explicit sexual content. Moreover, the filter will allow serious game developers with “Adults Only” ratings to publish their games on Steam without hitting the risk of Valve’s ban hammer.

“…After looking at the mature content in submissions we’re receiving, and at some games that are already in the Store, we’ve added two more options,” Valve continued. “The first is a general Mature Content filter. We often see developers who tell us their game contains mature content, but not sex or violence, and you can now filter those games out if you wish. The second is an Adults Only filter, which allows you to filter out games that feature explicit sexual content.”

Even with new filters, developers must now offer up a context for the content of their game. What exactly does that mean? It means creators can’t incorporate sex and Nazism in their experience for the sake of broadcasting sex and Nazism. The new rule will allow Steam to review and ban creators who publish libraries of trash on the platform, thereby improving the overall quality of content available. As Valve justified, “Our review of something that may be ‘a troll game’ is a deep assessment that actually begins with the developer. We investigate who this developer is, what they’ve done in the past, their behavior on Steam as a developer, as a customer, their banking information, developers they associate with, and more. All of this is done to answer the question ‘who are we partnering with and why do they want to sell this game?’

“We get as much context around the creation and creator of the game and then make an assessment. A trend we’re seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions. In the words of someone here in the office: ‘it really does seem like bad games are made by bad people.’

“This doesn’t mean there aren’t some crude or lower quality games on Steam, but it does mean we believe the developers behind them aren’t out to do anything more than sell a game they hope some folks will want to play.”

SOURCE: Steam Blog