Several game developers were contacted earlier this week by Valve, stating that games containing excessive amounts of violence were to have the content removed or face delisting from Steam by the end of the month. The statements came as a shock to developers whose games had previously been approved by Valve for inclusion on the Steam store. The change of tone seems to have come from a shift at Valve who have become more reluctant to have their platform associated with potentially controversial violent content.
Various anime themed games have so far been recipients of takedown notices such as Corpse Party, Muv-Luv Alternative, Hello Kitty & Sanrio Friends Racing, and Attack on Titan concerning their depictions of gore and violence. Developers contacted stated that they had received no prior indication from Valve regarding policy changes which would suddenly make their game deemed inappropriate.
With Steam serving as the primary source of income for most PC games, many developers have begun working to remove the violent content out of their games. In order to get around the limitations of the store, some developers have begun to offer “18+ gore patches” on their own site which can be applied to the Steam copy in order to restore censored content.
A few publishers began moving their games to other digital storefronts, such as GOG, although not all users have been receptive of the new additions.
“I can’t believe GOG would allow games that depict such graphic content like this,” one comment stated. “Games that glorify the illegal and terrible act of murder have no place on here. Why can’t we have more games about a cute high school romance or something?”
“A lot of these games feature minors bearing witness to horrible atrocities or being involved with murder themselves,” another user added. “What kind of person would enjoy seeing kids getting killed and bleeding all over the place?”
When questioned if game developers should also be potentially concerned about sexual content in their games, Valve stated that “depictions of love” were of no threat to being removed from Steam and that it would be ridiculous to individually target such games while ignoring the larger issues with quality on the Steam storefront. Valve President Gabe Newell, a self-proclaimed fan of large bosoms himself, expressed his hope to see a greater variety of such titles come to Steam in the near future.