Steam to Approve All The Things
This is going to end well. Steam's Erik Johnson published this article on the Steam Blog today.
In an effort to reduce the frustration and overhead surrounding the approval process of content submitted to the Steam platform, Valve has decided to offload that burden onto the customers.
If you're a player, we shouldn't be choosing for you what content you can or can't buy. If you're a developer, we shouldn't be choosing what content you're allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make.
I completely disagree with the assumptions and mistargeted assertions.
I believe they absolutely should be choosing what content I can or can't buy -- ON STEAM. The choice of what a developer can or can't create has never been a choice of Valve's. What content the developers have been allowed to create and then sell on STEAM, however, has.
Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
I feel more comfortable when garbage games aren't allowed on Steam and I don't have to sift through a hot mess to find something good that isn't a complete scam. I feel more comfortable when the platform is held to a higher standard and I can shop in confidence.
With that principle in mind, we've decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.
Ignoring the extremes like school shooting games, etc., not necessarily falling neatly into a category, I'm mostly worried about the extreme volume of garbage. Graev and I were talking about this together and he's of the opinion that Steam has been a garbage heap already for quite some time and not he doesn't think it'll change anything. They seem to have given up.
He might be right, but I tremble at the possibility that it could be worse. Unless the toosl Valve is developing to give me control over what types of content I see includes a "NO CRAP" filter, I'm probably not going to be satisfied. I'm also not satisfied with their mentality as a company currently in control of a widely recognized and accepted leader in this space. I expect more than a laissez faire attitude.
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. ... It also means that the games we allow onto the Store will not be a reflection of Valve’s values ... There will be people throughout the Steam community who hate your games, and hope you fail to find an audience, and there will be people here at Valve who feel exactly the same way.
It's not April Fools Day. I checked.
Count me among the fans disappointed in your change of policy, Valve.