Valve Corporation, creator of the popular online games platform Steam, revealed its long-awaited program to ban users with anime profile pictures. These users are to receive Valve Anti-Anime bans (VAA bans for short) which will prevent them from accessing any official Valve servers. Many of the most popular multiplayer games on Steam, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2, run their online matchmaking exclusively through official Valve servers. Therefore, Valve has predicted that the migration of weeaboos away from these games may result in upwards of a 15% drop in active Steam users.
Public reception of the Valve’s new system has been mixed. Steam’s user base is largely concerned with the system’s ability to tell the difference between pictures from anime and those from shows like Avatar: the Last Airbender and RWBY, which are not and have never been anime. Furthermore, a rather sizable minority of Steam users have made clear that they do not believe that Pokemon pictures should get users banned as Pokemon is “barely an anime anyway,” as one user describes.
The largest outcry against Valve’s new policy has not been from Steam’s users, but rather from Riot Games, creator and publisher of League of Legends. Anime Maru sat down for a short interview with designer Ryan “Morello” Scott to ask him why his company was so against Valve’s new policy.
“Valve has been trying to ruin us ever since we refused to make Ricochet 2 for them,” said Morello. “The design of this program is no different in that it is clearly meant to migrate weebs from their games to League [of Legends], thereby ruining our great community. I am sure they will argue that players can play any game they wish, but I mean what else are they going to play for their online fix, Starcraft? Yeah, right. That game is more dead than our solo matchmaking.”