Tag Archives: Valve

Steam Store will Contain “Something That You Hate”



Valve posted a blog titled “Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?” The short answer appears to be: everyone. Steam has decided to opt-out of making decisions about whether or not a specific game should be removed from the Steam Store – except for things they “decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.”

In the blog post, Valve says: “The challenge is that this problem is not simply about whether or not the Steam Store should contain games with adult or violent content.” Instead, Valve says it’s about “whether or not the Store contains games with an entire range of controversial topics.” Those topics include: politics, sexuality, racism, gender, violence, identity, and so on.”

So what does this mean? It means that the Steam Store is going to contain something that you hate, and don’t think should exist. Unless you don’t have any opinions, that’s guaranteed to happen. But you’re also going to see something on the Store that you believe should be there, and some other people will hate it and want it not to exist.

Valve has provided reasons why they made this decision. They point out that Valve is not a small company, and that it isn’t homogeneous. The people at Valve don’t all agree on what deserves to be in the Store. Valve says that what is considered acceptable varies around the world, both socially and legally.

In short, Valve has decided that the way to solve this dilemma is to …do almost nothing at all. Valve feels it should not be deciding what belongs on the Steam Store. They feel they shouldn’t be choosing for players what content they can or cannot buy. Valve also doesn’t feel it should be choosing what kind of content a game developer is allowed to create.

Valve has concluded that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, “except for things we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.” At the same time, they want players to understand that the games Valve allows on the Steam Store “will not be a reflection of Valve’s values”.

In addition, Valve is going to provide players with tools that will allow them to override Valve’s game recommendation algorithms and hide games containing topics that the player is not interested in. The options will also allow parents to control what kinds of games their kids see.


Campo Santo has Joined Valve



Campo Santo announced that the company has agreed to join Valve. I haven’t been able to find a statement about this from Valve. Kotaku reported that three people familiar with the news confirmed that Valve had purchased Campo Santo.

Campo Santo describes itself as “a small but scrappy game developer in San Francisco, CA.” They released Firewatch in 2016 and have sold over 1.5 million copies. They are co-producing a full adaptation of Firewatch and working on their second game, In the Valley of Gods.

Valve has produced award-winning games, leading-edge technologies, and a groundbreaking social entertainment platform. They are the makers of Half-Life, Half-Life Episodes 1 and 2, Left 4 Dead, Left for Dead 2, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Portal 2. Valve has a social entertainment platform called Steam that gives players instant access to more than 1,800 game titles and connects 35 million active users to each other.

Campo Santo posted a blog titled “Campo Santo News” that has more details about their recent decision to join Valve. Here are a few key points:

The twelve of use at Campo Santo have agreed to join Valve, where we will maintain our jobs as video game developers and continue production on our current project, In the Valley of the Gods…

…In Valve, we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives. It quickly became an obvious match…

Campo Santo states that they are still making In the Valley of the Gods (as a Valve game), and will still support Firewatch.


Valve will Replace Greenlight with Steam Direct



Valve announced that they will replace Steam Greenlight with Steam Direct. The reason for the change is to better serve their goal of making customers happy. Steam decided it needed to move away from a small group of people at Valve trying to predict which games would appeal to different groups of customers.

Steam Greenlight was launched because Valve felt it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system. Greenlight is a community-focused program that uses a voting system to determine which games are published on Steam. Games that got enough community support are “greenlit”.

Valve is replacing Greenlight with a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. It is called Steam Direct.

This new path, which we’re calling “Steam Direct”, is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.”

At the moment, Valve is still debating what that application fee should be. They talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they got a range of responses from $100 to $5,000. Valve wants more feedback before it settles on what the fee will be.

The existence of a fee might dissuade people from trying to get low-quality games onto Steam. That being said, if the fee is too high, it might make it difficult or impossible for small companies, or independent game creators, from being able to afford to get their game on Steam.