Valve “Would Not Publish” Hatred, Deletes From Greenlight

Destructive Creations’ Hatred looks horrid. It’s a mass-murder simulator, created seemingly in order to offend, and so far it looks tacky and unpleasant. But then, you know, it’s allowed to be that if it wants to be. It’s not, however, allowed to be sold on Steam. Valve has taken the move to delist the game from Greenlight within a couple of hours of its appearance, despite its showing enormous popularity amongst potential customers. Which asks the question, what are Valve’s criteria for accepting a game?

It’s easy to get up in arms about Hatred. Letting you play as a madman killing indiscriminately, the trailer appears to me to be a really nasty piece of work, cynically created to get attention. Perhaps that’s unfair, and for creators Destructive, it’s a heartfelt piece of art. Hmmm. Seems unlikely given their own dumb statements on how it’s a reaction to “political correctness” and “games as art”. However, the immediate hullabaloo generated by a gaming press so horrified by the release of its first trailer that they had no choice but to embed it on their websites to say so, fed directly into a fear held by a minority of games players who believe the industry is rife with censorship. Which then raises the chances of Hatred becoming a cause célèbre for the professionally disenfranchised.

Something that now seems unavoidable after Valve have taken the peculiar measure of removing Hatred from Steam’s Greenlight only hours after it appeared, despite its shooting straight up to become the 7th most popular game in the queue with 13,148 votes. The reason, they told the developers, was:

“We wanted you guys to know that based on what we see on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we’ll be taking it down.”

This raises a whole slew of issues. Firstly, it leaves people wondering what exactly are Valve’s criteria for what they’ll publish. Right now, on Steam, you can buy a copy of Rockstar’s infamous murder simulator, Manhunt. And indeed civilian murder-fests Hotline Miamis 1 and 2, and Postals 1 and 2. Let alone the hyper-realistic killing that takes place in everything from COD: Advanced Warfare to Medal Of Honor. We’ve got in touch with Valve to ask them what their rules are for what’s accepted onto the Steam shelves.

Which leads to the other enormous issue: Steam’s shelves make up approximately 70% of the online market. And the online market is pretty much all that’s left for PC in many major markets. Valve, via Steam, have something bordering on domination of PC gaming sales, with GOG, Direct2Drive, GamersGate and so on reportedly making up a significantly smaller portion of the scene. While Steam has been proven not necessary for success (there is no more enormous example than Minecraft), it can be extremely difficult to get attention for your game without appearing on their site. So when the relatively small-scale independent games developer that has total control of that online store gets to decide which games they’re willing to sell, you do rather have to raise questions of fairness, and even competition law. To what extent is Valve’s curation of Steam acceptable?

You can ask the same questions of us, of course. We didn’t post the Hatred trailer because, well, fuck that. It’s hideous, and we’re a small-scale, independently owned gaming site that curates what we want to appear on our pages. But then, we’re not yet a gaming site with a monopoly (by 2018, that should be sorted). (Plus the hypocrisy of posting the trailer in order to tell people how awful it is that it exists seemed a little much.)

Destructive responded to the news with a sort of faux-magnanimity, saying they “fully respect Valve’s decision,” and that it would not affect development.

“The whole situation only pushes us forward to go against any adversity and not to give up. It also makes us want to provide our fans Hatred pre-orders sooner, as many of you have asked for them.”

The reality remains that anyone who doesn’t want to play Hatred can probably find a way to somehow not play it. And those worrying that it will raise a new generation of serial killers can take solace in there being no scientific evidence that such a thing has or could happen, and indeed that previous generations have scraped through Manhunt, Postal, Soldier Of Fortune 2, and so on. And we reserve the right to say at this point it looks foul, but will hold our judgement until we’ve played it. Just not via Steam, apparently.

311 Comments

  1. Haborym says:

    My buddy sometimes asks if Steam will ever grow up. Looks like it still hasn’t. Oh well.

    • Ecto says:

      Can you elaborate? In what sense should Steam “grow up”, and how does taking off Hatred indicate that it hasn’t happened?

      • Squirly says:

        Most of the games where we go around shooting people give us some, slim, justifiable reason for doing it. You’re rescuing your friends, you’re fighting an evil enemy etc. – but in the end it’s really just a reason to allow the player to go around stabbing people in the neck or shooting them in the face. Hatred eschews that and gets down to brass tacks – you want to shoot people? Shoot people. In the game, of course.

        The idea that other games where we essentially do the exact same thing are fine because they give us some moral high ground is self delusional at best, hypocritical at worst. We aren’t children that need to be reassured that we aren’t actually monsters. Far Cry 3 said it as well – you might be going out there to rescue your friends, but at the end of the day you’re really enjoying yourself, aren’t you? While stabbing people in the neck and blowing them up and running them over.

        • honuk says:

          most games are trash, I agree. this one happens to revel in it.

        • Foglet says:

          other games where we essentially do the exact same thing

          I dunno, whether or not what/who I shoot is eager to, trying to (or even able to) shoot me back is sort of essential.

          • Squirly says:

            And that’s fine if you care, but I would hazard a guess that the amount of people who play GTA and go on a rampage occasionally would make you somewhat in the minority.

          • Foglet says:

            I would hazard a guess that the amount of people who play GTA and go on a rampage occasionally would make you somewhat in the minority

            As they are perfectly free to. Yet I would hazard a guess there would’ve been a different reception to GTA V if it were all continuous Trevor/Rampage, all the time, without a glimpse of self-awareness.

          • Squirly says:

            The fact that there IS a different reception is just indicative of the hypocrisy, not that GTA is somehow more justified to exist.

          • Foglet says:

            The fact that there IS a different reception is just indicative of the hypocrisy

            [taste] ≠ [hypocrisy], as is [refusing to stock a product] ≠ [censorship].

          • Squirly says:

            Taste is subjective and not for Steam (or anyone else) to decide. And I never mentioned censorship for this very reason. Not stocking the game still sends a message, even if it’s just “we’re willing to cave if you scream loud enough.”

          • Foglet says:

            Taste is subjective and not for Steam (or anyone else) to decide.

            Um, while it’s surely not for me to decide whether or not you should like mayonnaise, it’s pretty much within my scope of decision-making to choose whether or not to eat it, cook with it, sell it in my own grocery store or send out a global message that there’s a specific brand I personally don’t like and will avoid at all costs.

          • Mordio says:

            I’d like to complete your mayonnaise metaphor.

            You see, you are also the number one sauce seller in the world. You are all powerful in sauce-land. Every one come to your store for sauces. Your decision to not sell mayonnaise is basically a death sentence for mayonnaise producers. And your monopoly on sauces make it so that only a tiny percent of people will actually be aware of the possibility to actually eat sweet delicious mayonnaise.

            Not only that, but it just so happen that you are actually selling – and have been selling for a long time – quite a lot of mayonnaise-like or mayonnaise-based sauces in your store. Kind of weird, you have to admit. Can I have even trust your taste on sauces ?

            As a regular client of your store, I’m worried you see. Is there sauces that I would like that I’m not aware of because you don’t like them ? Did you destroy other small producers of exotics sauces that I will never be able to taste because it was a little bit too sour for you ? Aren’t you abusing your power over sauces when you are preventing your customers to buy and be aware of them ?

            I know, I know, it’s legal, it’s your right. That doesn’t make it less shitty though.

          • Lowbrow says:

            To complete the mayonnaise metaphor:

            Mayonnaise is awful, and I will not stock it in my stores. People might mistake it for Miracle Whip and accidentally consume it! The fact that some (misguided) sectors of the public prefer it or can not taste the (profound) difference between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip has no effect on my decision. I am the Sauce King in part because I have the wisdom to curate my store. The Sauce Peasants still sell mayonnaise, and my shoppers are free to go there and debase themselves.

        • Ecto says:

          I’m not really sure how that relates to steam growing up, but I do think it’s an interesting argument.

          I don’t think Farcry 3 is really the same as Hatred, however. Farcry 3 has a great many flaws, but it does try to engage with the paradox that Jason Brody is supposed to be The Good Guy while he runs around shooting hundreds and hundreds of people. And in the end, it makes it clear that Jason is becoming seriously fucked up by all the violence.

          On the other hand, if Hatred at all considers the morality of murder, it’s only for a brief moment in order to figure out the most abhorrent direction it could take, then promptly sprint in that direction.

          Yes, both games make killing something you, the player, do for fun. However, I think that’s incidental. A product of a story about violence and a game that has to be entertaining to sell. The only game I can think of that took the fun out of killing while telling a story about violence was Spec Ops: The Line. And I’m honestly not convinced that was on purpose.

          In the end, Hatred’s crime probably isn’t that it glorifies murder. Lord knows Call of BattleFortune does that too. I think the reason it was taken down was the part where the developers went out and made it a point that they want this game to be as offensive as possible, to piss off the dreaded P.C. Police.

          • Squirly says:

            Interesting point about the devs, though I would still argue that their marketing and design tactics shouldn’t have any bearing either. Hell, I heard they were apparently right-wingers in general, and I saw someone using that as justification for removal as well (again, not something I can agree with).

            Hell, I’m not even that interested in the game. I only ever played Postal 1 and 2 a bit and stopped out of boredom eventually. This doesn’t look like it’ll change my mind about anything, but I don’t agree that it’s somehow worse than anything else that’s available on Steam just because it’s honest about it’s aim.

            Steam should worry less about what message the games on their store send (if any) and more about the garbage that’s accumulating every day.

          • Niko says:

            Hatred is both the name of the game and the SOLE motive behind its creation.

        • BlackAlpha says:

          I think you hit the nail on its head. People are making a bigger deal out of this game than it actually is. This isn’t the first game where you go around and murder people. Studies say that such games don’t really matter.

          The game looks pretty bad, so just let people play it and get it over with. Let the new generation have their Postal/Manhunt game, and then move on.

          You know what will happen now. The same thing that happens with all the other violent games that have been “banned”. People will want it even more now, and they’ll get their hands on it from somewhere else, and they’ll play it, and they won’t turn into serial killers.

          I suspect, however, that Steam’s action is purely motivated by PR. As in: “We banned this super violent video game. We listen to you, you matter to us. Now go buy any of the other super violent video games from our store!”

        • Baines says:

          Valve isn’t acting from some moral high ground.

          Valve’s actions are driven by bad press. If press gets too bad and is too universal, and doesn’t look like it will go away, then Valve will eventually act. Everyone condemned Hatred, so Valve pulled it. Well, eventually pulled it. Since Valve tends to move slower than a glacier, they didn’t get around to pulling Hatred until after everyone had stopped talking about it. (Though that controversy would have re-erupted had Hatred ever seen release.)

          • RobF says:

            I think it’s a bit unkind to say that they pulled it solely because of bad press. I get the distinct impression that they just don’t want to be associated with this sort of thing full stop and not just in the “because business” sense either, y’know?

            Also, they pulled it after a few hours. Probably enough time to sit down and have a chat about what to do about it.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          I think this is the core of what rubs people wrong about Hatred.
          If you are left free to do whatever you want without any implicit or explicit “you must, because otherwise..”, it exposes that there’s a part of you that revels in being evil or brutal or otherwise the stuff that is used AS that very excuse to hurt others.

          And that is an insight(you’re just as bad as the other guy with a gun, you just carry what you pretend and believe to be a better reason) that clashes with the holier-than-thou identity all these Hatred-haters seem to have, hence it must be banished.

          Sad.

        • Deadly Sinner says:

          ·Saying all violence in videogames is equivalent is essentially the same as saying all violence in the real world is equivalent. Context ALWAYS matters.

          ·If all violence in videogames is equivalent, then Just Cause would be equivalent to a game where you rape people in excruciating detail (sexual violence is violence, after all,) and the game is fully in support of it.

          ·The vast, vast majority of people do not buy videogames to inflict violence, they buy games for the story or gameplay, which the violence is a part of. Violence is a part of the experience, but it is not the ultimate point, unlike Hatred. Or, to put it another way, it’s the difference between a game about sex and a porn game.

          ·The point about GTA is terrible. People don’t go on killing sprees to enact their latent murder fantasies, they do it because it leads to an ever stronger police force attempting to kill you, turning it into a contest of how long you can survive, similar to Geometry Wars or whatever. If the police did not show up, then people would get bored of it very quickly. Also, there is the point that going on a killing spree in GTA is entirely optional, while Hatred forces you to do them. And what the game tells or forces you to do comprises just as much of what the game is “saying” as the writing.

          ·Steam did not take it down because people complained. Most of its limited coverage was about how deeply stupid it looked and how terrible the gameplay looked. Its notability came from how “shocking” and attention whorey it was beyond any other game. The real reason Valve took it down was because its supporters turned it into the cause du jour, turning any reaction to the game, positive or negative, into a political statement. The developer’s possible affiliation with a hate group probably contributed, as well. Tons of people complain about games on Steam all the damn time and they do nothing. If it was just people complaining, then Valve wouldn’t have done shit.

    • DThor says:

      It’s a private company, it can do what it wants. Frankly just the existence of arguments over this sort of thing annoy me. For some reason (greed) a bunch of devs write stuff for IoS that could be, at any time, culled from that walled garden by the dictatorial Apple. Their fickle sense of bullshit is legendary, but nobody but disgruntled devs seem to care. So Steam doesn’t want to sell a mass murderer sim? I don’t have a problem with that. The last time this sort of thing got me vocal was when a local bookseller refused to sell Mein Kamph, which I considered small minded because the book has significant historical value (unlike this game), but ultimately it was up to her, it’s her company. She listened to the reaction and ended up not stocking it but would special order it on request. I still respected her right to not sell a product.
      Whether or not it’s consistent, or the perception of fairness compared to other games with similar elements is kosher to you or not, it *doesn’t matter*. I’ve watched torture porn movies and the silence of the lambs, and despite similar elements, they’re on a completely different level. I’m allowed to think that, and so is Steam. Games aren’t a right.

      • slight says:

        Generally that’s true but as a company approaches being a monopoly, which doesn’t have to mean they own 100% of the market, they start to have additional responsibilities in how they behave, particularly toward companies that could be seen as competitors. Contrary to popular opinion on the internet, being a monopoly is perfectly legal, but it means you have to not abuse your monopoly position. Whether you could argue that Steam is a monopoly I don’t know, but if it has 70% of the download market then it’s certainly in that territory.

        • dungeoncrawl says:

          Not sure how you could say they are a monopoly. There are many competetors out there, many options for this seller to get their game out there, sold, downloaded. Just because Steam is the most favored and attracts the most users doesn’t mean it’s a monopoly. There has to be no other (or very few) alternatives to claim that. Furthermore, they have to abuse their monopoly power (as you suggest) to give themselves an unfair advantage over their competitors. If anything, they’re losing money here.

          This is simply their right to allow/deny whatever content they want on their site/service. To force them to do otherwise is to take away their rights.

          • zarniwoop says:

            No one is forcing Valve to do anything.

            The fact that they are within their rights to do this, doesn’t mean that we can’t have a discussion about whether their decision is sensible, about whether or not, given their power over the marketplace, it’s harmful to the gaming community, and whether or not they should have clearer guidelines on what they allow on Greenlight.

            I’m sick and tired of every single dicussion like this ending up with people equating having the right to do something, with having the right to do something and have nobody question you or disagree with you about what you did.

          • Deadly Sinner says:

            And no one said that anyone is “forcing” Valve to do anything.

            They are just trying to provide some rational perspective. This isn’t like the internet service provider situation, where you are pretty much forced to use a specific ISP depending on where you live. It is also nothing like a physical store refusing to stock a product. Every single digital distribution provider could ban this game, and it would STILL take zero extra effort to procure if the developers offered it for sale themselves. Unlike practically every other distribution avenue, there is an extremely small barrier to entry when selling digital products over the internet.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            The issue is greater than that to be honest. Yes any developer is free to sell their game through their own channel, that doesn’t mean it will make a worthwhile return compared to being on Steam. For smaller dev studios, if you aren’t on Steam you may as well not develop the game in the first place because you won’t make any money. This is where the completely random censorship Steam has decided to use here becomes problematic for PC gaming as a whole.

            There are no guidelines that Hatred broke as to why it was removed. The knock on effect this has is making any smaller PC developer wary of making their game too “extreme” due to the fear of it being removed, without warning or guideline. “They can sell it somewhere else” is not a valid argument given the market share Steam has, developers would rather alter their game than risk not being allowed on the platform.

            Given all of the nonsense moral outrage and constant scrutiny that video games has to deal with all the time that other forms of media are seemingly immune to, it is incredibly disappointing to see one of video gamings biggest ally’s, Valve, joining in with this sort of censorship when it had no reason at all to do so.

        • blastaz says:

          Economics nerd out moment:

          Technically a monopolist is defined as a seller who controls more than 25% of a market.

          Steam is certainly a monopolist for the purpose of competition law.

          Equally the hatred devs aren’t competitors to steam they are verticle suppliers. They aren’t particularly relevant to monopolists. Just ask dairy farmers and Tesco.

          Personally if they sell postal 1 which this game seems a carbon copy of I can’t see why they wouldn’t sell this. While tacky it’s hardly the worst thing in the world. Saying it is is just marketing hype.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            Given Valve’s patchwork regulation tendencies, perhaps this is just the one they caught? The postals are old news by now and may have essentially been grandfathered in as part of a catalogue, where this is a brand new thing that just popped up and they have an opportune moment now to decide whether they want to be a part of it.

            I’m sort of like that with steam/origin. I won’t touch origin with a barge pole for their computer scanning nonsense, but steam was already on my machine when I learned that those issues where a thing and so it stays.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        I agree that games aren’t a right but I still dislike that Steam decides to pull this. Not only do they seem to be very inconsistent with the way they operate, happily curating this while firstly very similar games as mentioned in the article are apparently fine, secondly they seem disinterested in any other form of curation for broken crap that barely counts as a video game.

        The other issue I hate is again they are reinforcing that, while we see this sort of thing is more than acceptable in film, TV and books it’s unacceptable for a video game, why? It makes no sense when you can watch some sick perverse stuff like The Human Centipede on Netflix yet Steam, the company which holds something very close to a retail monopoly on PC games, now decides it is going to act as a censor for that medium.

        Video games aren’t just for fucking kids any more and grown adults should be able to decide what they wish to play until someone can come up with some proper evidence that video games can effect their behaviour negatively. Steam is actively hindering the progression of the image of video games as acceptable mainstream art and entertainment for grown adults, when they engage in this sort of needless censorship. Everybody has the choice not to play a game, we don’t need someone making that decision for us, likely based only on fear of bad press due to moral outrage.

    • illuminerdi says:

      I’m of the opinion that having the maturity to admit that there IS a line is far more “grown up” than deciding that there is no upper limit to the amount of violence a game can contain.

      • Niko says:

        I DON’T KNWO ABOUT U BUT THE OLDER I GET THE MORE VIOLENT I BECOME RIGHT NOW IM YTPING THOSE WORDS WITH A KNIFE

        • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

          LIGHTWEIGHT
          IM SHOOTING KEYS ON MY KEYOBARD

          • pepperfez says:

            NOOBS I BLEW UP MY KEYBORD WIHT A BOMB

          • Premium User Badge

            Qazinsky says:

            You guys need to chill a bit and hug forth your sentences like I do* …oh, are we talking about being grown up I AM PUNCHING MY KEYBOARD *SO* HARD!

          • Great Cthulhu says:

            MY KEYBOARD IS MADE OF KNIFES AND IM TIPING BY STABCLUBING A BABY SEAL WHICH IS ALSO AN ORPHAN!!1

            (Wheee! Finally a use for that stupid CapsLock key!)

          • Rakombo says:

            FUCKING PUSSIES!!!
            I HAVE PEOPLE IN CHAINS EACH OF THEM IS ASSIGNED WITH A SINGLE KEY AND WHEN I FUCKING WANT A KEY PRESSED I HIT THEM WITH A WHIP COVERED WITH BARBED WIRE UNTIL THE FUCKERS DO THEIR JOB!!!

          • Synesthesia says:

            Okay, now the whole office is looking weirdly at me.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        Steam isn’t deciding either of those things. All Steam is deciding is that this game isn’t going to be sold via their distribution platform. No more and no less.

        • lizzardborn says:

          And of course asking for clear guidelines and consistent enforcement of them from the company with de facto monopoly is too much.

          Arbitrary decisions are bad for business. And gatekeeper can introduce self-censorship. So I am somewhat uncomfortable with these kinds of actions.

          • airmikee says:

            What clear and consistent guidelines does Best Buy, 7-11, or even Apple use to decide which products will be sold in their stores? Can you point to clear and consistent guidelines for any store, at all? Why does Steam need to explain to anyone why they choose to list a product for sale on their site? (Yeah, Apple posts their guidelines, but they’re certainly not applied consistently, as a quick google search can show you, same goes for google’s app store.)

            Valve IS NOT preventing you from buying this game. Valve IS ONLY preventing you from buying that game on their site. We’re already into the 21st century, since when has there been any kind of actual limitation on anything being sold online? Head on down to Silk Road 3.0, which came online less than 24 hours after SR2.0 was shut down. If gun runners and drug dealers can find a way to sell their products online, what could possibly be preventing a game developer from finding a method to distribute their game to their customers?

            If there is a willing purchaser, the developer will be able to sell their game somehow. Valve is just saying that won’t be happening inside their store, which is the right of EVERY SINGLE RETAILER going back to the invention of retail goods for consumer purchase.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            Nobody is questioning their rights. We are questioning their nonsensical, inconsistent and downright stupid operating practices.

            This game that hasn’t even been released yet, sits on Greenlight for a while, gets more than enough votes to make it to the platform proper. Then it gets bad press firstly because of lies people posted about the developers, secondly because of it’s subject matter. However this is subject matter that has been allowed several times before on the Steam service and which breaks no existing guidelines or rules. Then it is pulled, without explanation, without breaking any rules, before the game is even released for Steam to even know if the bad press was correct or not.

            All of this comes after they have shown a complete dis-enthusiasm for any sort of curation in the recent past. Yes it might be their right to do what they did, it is my right as a consumer to voice my displeasure for their actions and how it can be damaging to the industry. That is why anybody such as yourself taking the “It’s their right to do this, end of discussion” stance is completely missing the point.

            Also, they don’t have to state why they choose not to sell this product, again, it is our right as consumers to question why.
            If they don’t want negative press associated with their decisions they need to do a better job of monitoring their platform. If this game were never on Greenlight people wouldn’t know about it. They weren’t careful enough not to let that happen. After the game got negative press and they pulled it, the information was too public for them to do anything about it. That is their fault and the situation, which they mis-managed, highlighted inconsistencies with the way they operate. Yes it is their right to operate how they wish, it is our right to question that and voice our opinion on their decisions.

      • mouton says:

        That’s nice. I am waiting eagerly for Valve to explain where exactly the line is. So far, all they did is arbitrarily remove one game.

    • Lobotomist says:

      Its ridiculous and bit insulting intelligence to even question Valve decision.
      If you put a Skinhead Neonazi simulation you will get greenlighted in a day, same goes with game where you are pedophile and rape children or perhaps djihadist holy warrior of ISIS.
      Radical ideas and perversions are polarizing. You may have just 1% of population. But the whole 1% will vote.

      So the actual popularity is fake. Statistic shortcoming.

      As for the game contents. Its simple.
      Does it offends someone ?

      Just yesterday 3 people were murdered and many more wounded by hostage taker in Sydney.

      How would their friends and families feel about this game ?

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    I’m a little concerned that no mention has been made in any of these articles on the accusations several of the devs are far-right sympathisers. Given they’re making a game which would seem like your stereotypical Nazi fanboy’s wet dream it seems fairly relevant to me, and I’m not seeing anything to refute the allegations yet, either. I have very little problem with Valve basically saying “You support hate groups, get out”.

    • gschmidl says:

      Precisely this. Steam is also not a “free speech” zone, despite what Americans who don’t understand their own amendments might argue, so they can do whatever the hell they want.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        I do agree there’s a discussion to be had, as John and the other article writers argue, on Valve’s policy of not talking about anything any more than they absolutely have to. I’m just not really sure it’s the most important issue here, as the various articles seem to imply.

        • Synesthesia says:

          I think the more serious discussion we need to have is the one about monopoly, which is why this is being equated with censorship.

      • P.Funk says:

        The question at hand isn’t whether they can do what they want, its more about should they and why do or don’t they. It is a near monopoly on the market and it has an enormous influence on what people see.

        • Smoky_the_Bear says:

          Exactly. People keep saying “It is their right to do this”. It is.
          It’s also my right as a consumer to complain, question their actions and demand explanation from them until I am blue in the face, in whatever legal means I choose, if I choose to do so and there isn’t a damn thing they can do to stop me.
          Saying “It is their right” is simply stating a fact, not making a reasonable means to end discussion, which some people seem to be using it as.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        Yeah, Valve is merely showing these guys the door.

        • danijami23 says:

          Beaten right to the punch there my friend. As this glorious comic states, the devs are more than allowed to say what they like, but Valve is equally allowed to tell them to fuck off. And i’m glad they did.

        • blimey says:

          Thanks for this, I’ve been replying to so many people that don’t understand Free Speech. Next time I will just post this link.

        • Geewhizbatman says:

          Alright, so I love xkcd as much as the next human worm baby. But source material for discussions of legality and amendment rights it is not. Because the reality is yes—yes you can make an argument for violation of your freedom of speech if your “Show is canceled.”

          If a previous agreement had been made, with both participants being aware of the product that was being created or sold–giving approval at each step of the process, to then turn around and cancel that agreement due to bad press as the only obvious cause for your sudden decision to impact another’s livelihood–then yes. Yes you can make an argument for your 1st Amendment rights having been violated.

          Pro-Tip: The legal system works based on precedent and the ability to formulate a convincing argument. Ethics and Theory are different than Practice.

          How those arguments are received and the consequence is ultimately up to the judge, jury, or other ruling body–all of which can again be subjected to the same attempt of having the decision changed so long as you have a convincing argument. The idea that Freedom of Speech is a static concept makes the assumption that the legal system has clear rights and wrongs–which in theory it does, but that can’t be true in practice otherwise you fall into fascism territory.

          So, yes–In this case given that Valve had previously allowed Hatred to be on Greenlight, the devs could make the argument that Valve indeed did know what they were allowing on their site and that they were engaging in a kind of agreement with the possibility for a substantial increase in revenue for the company (not because they couldn’t sell it elsewhere, but because Valve is a the dominating force for this kind of retail.)

          Valve’s sudden decision to terminate that previously allowed contract does give the devs reasonable cause to say that Valve should be held responsible for infringing on their right to make and sell a game that Valve previously stated was within their policy guidelines. Which, for you at home, is the problem–Valve isn’t clear about those guidelines and yes—yes you do have to be clear about what those guidelines are if you are engaging in agreements that involve real (or in this case, potential and thus similar to the rights of profit potentials like Facebook or Twitter) monetary transactions.

          Not that it matters because it is great press for Hatred, so it would be silly for them to make a fuss–but yes they could quite easily do so. Whether or not that would go anywhere is a different question about the legal system.

          The real case that Valve would have is to claim that their removing it from Greenlight is the same as, say, Wal-Mart removing a toy because of new FDA guidelines. They brought the toy onto their shelves in good faith that it was safe for their customers (not policing whether or not it was “good” for their customers) and should not be held responsible for the damage to the company if that turns out to be untrue.

          However–as was made a point in this article….no such evidence exists that this game would be actively harmful. Neither before Valve agreed to allow Hatred to go through the Greenlight process, or after they decided to negate their previous agreement. Or at least, no more harmful than any of the other aggressive face-shooting simulators that exist and also didn’t have to go through the Greenlight process in order to be handed out to whomever wanted to pay for it.

          Hatred devs would have a solid case about how Valve’s unfair targeting of their game actively represents a suppression of their right to practice not any kind of speech they like—but certainly speech that a company has proven they are happy and able to support in the form of almost identical products on their shelves.

          I love you internet, but please don’t use webcomics as your legal arguments. At least take the public attorney first before you go that route in your next court case–please <3

        • Distec says:

          Let’s post that comic one more time. It never gets old.

          (It does)

    • sadwatertunnell says:

      yeah, regardless of the content, games made by people with ties to neo-nazis and other hate groups should never get any money, recognition or publicly. imo.

      • Taerdin says:

        Let me know when you finish background checking the teams of 1000+ that make each triple A game to make sure not one cent gets to someone with beliefs you don’t like.

        • All is Well says:

          What are you saying? That because it is impractical or impossible to know if money spent on AAA games finances people with destructive political or moral beliefs, we should just give up on it altogether and not care who we give our money to? Because your post comes off as quite contrary to sadwatertunnell, despite your not actually contradicting them.

          • Eight Rooks says:

            To be slightly fair to him/her, no, I don’t expect Ubisoft to vet everyone working on Assassin’s Creed: Victory to see if they’ve got a swastika headscarf or whatever hidden away at home – but if it turned out the game had a new category of side mission where you had to clean the streets of undesirables who couldn’t fight back and the director was seen at far-right rallies leading their parades I’d be quite happy if every major storefront pulled the game until said director was fired.

          • All is Well says:

            @Eight Rooks
            Yes, that would reflect my take as well – it is too impractical and sometimes impossible to make sure your purchases (of games or otherwise) don’t fund distasteful things, but that doesn’t exclude all responsibility. I was merely confused by Taerdin’s contrarian tone, since sadwatertunnell was simply saying that no money ought to go to hate groups, and the fact that it’s sometimes impractical or impossible to prevent it doesn’t really negate that.

          • P.Funk says:

            I would say its an awfully confusing ethic to handle when we live in a society of tolerance that wants to segregate specific zones of belief for severe intolerance to the point of near malevolence. Not expression, but belief. I see no signs that this game is an expression of neo-Nazism. I see no relevance to the topic, but if it simplifies the debate and allows us to turn off our critical thinking skills because our society has taught us to do that when the word Nazi comes up then by all means, let the parade of self satisfied and unchallenged absolutist remarks continue.

            I think RPS deliberately avoided remarking on this because its not really important to what they’re trying to discuss and everyone knows you can’t have a decent debate when the word Nazi is floating around. Its like an internet rule.

            Now if the game begins to show some relation to Nazi ideas, such as the above remark about a side mission to clear out undesirables, or all the victims in the game are either black, brown, or have remarkably crooked noses, the discussion changes in my opinion.

          • All is Well says:

            @P.Funk
            It might just be because I haven’t had anything to eat today, but I don’t think you’re being very clear. What ethic, specifically, are you referring to? And what is the topic, that neo-Nazism bears no relation to it? From what I understood, the game developers have been accused of supporting and/or affiliation with far-right groups bordering on neo-Nazism (and that the game expressed related ideas, although I cannot see this either), which has been put forward as the reason for Valve’s actions. How is neo-Nazism irrelevant in this context, and how have I, sadwatertunnell, Eight Rooks or Taerdin (it’s not immediately obvious to whom you’re addressing your comment) “turned off our critical thinking” or made “self satisfied and unchallenged absolutist remarks”?

          • Taerdin says:

            @All is Well
            Maybe it doesn’t contradict what you heard in your own mind, but it does contradict what they said.

            You wrote that they wrote no money ‘ought’ to go to people with ties to hate groups. What they actually wrote is that money should NEVER go to games developed by people with ties to hate groups. NEVER is not the same word as OUGHT, no matter how many times you misrepresent what was actually said.

            Also replies don’t necessitate contradiction. So even if you thought I didn’t contradict what they said there is really no reason to be so confused.

            Lastly the devs of Hatred supposed ‘ties’ to Neo-Nazis have been debunked. It’s simply not true. Not that it would stop game’s media from playing it up for hits.

          • All is Well says:

            @Taerdin
            First of all, I am well aware that replies are not, by definition, contradictory. As I explicitly stated it was the tone of your reply, the way it came off as a little bit hostile, that seemed odd considering your wording, and why I asked you to clarify what you were suggesting.

            Secondly, the exact phrase used by sadwatertunnell was “hate groups should never get any money”. The phrase I used was “no money ought to go to hate groups”. These are, I feel, perfectly interchangeable in this context. I did not try to substitute the word “never” for “ought” because that would make no sense at all, but rather substituted “should never” for “no […] ought”. I don’t think it’s very reasonable to suggest that this is a misrepresentation of the original wording.

            Ugh, whatever. Just forget I asked; I’m suddenly not at all interested any more.

          • Distec says:

            @Taerdin

            It’ll be great, I can already see the headline of “Toxic Streak of Neo-Nazism in Gamer Culture”, right alongside the innumerous Toxic Streaks of X we are also apparently afflicted by.

          • Deadly Sinner says:

            “Lastly the devs of Hatred supposed ‘ties’ to Neo-Nazis have been debunked. It’s simply not true. Not that it would stop game’s media from playing it up for hits.”

            The developers’ denials are certainly predictable coming from people who want to actually sell their game, but it is far from a debunking.

        • Foglet says:

          make sure not one cent gets to someone with beliefs you don’t like

          “having objectionable views”
          ===== [fine yet distinct line] =====
          “wearing objectionable views on one’s sleeve and taking full opportunity of the event under discussion to promote them to the hilt”

          • P.Funk says:

            Did I miss the red sleeved rally at Nuremburg they held for this game, or are you being fatuous?

          • Foglet says:

            are you being fatuous

            “having objectionable views”
            ===== [fine yet distinct line] =====
            “wearing objectionable views on one’s sleeve and taking full opportunity of the event under discussion to promote them to the hilt”
            ===== [fine yet distinct line] =====
            “committing atrocities in the name of such views and going on trial for them”
            That’s three possible cases already with a variety of possible distinctive reactions.

          • danijami23 says:

            “having objectionable views”
            ===== [fine yet distinct line] =====
            “wearing objectionable views on one’s sleeve and taking full opportunity of the event under discussion to promote them to the hilt”
            ===== [fine yet distinct line] =====
            “committing atrocities in the name of such views and going on trial for them”
            That’s three possible cases already with a variety of possible distinctive reactions.
            =====???=====
            PROFIT!

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        As far as I understand none of those accusations were proven to be true. Unless you can provide some actual evidence (from what I understand the “evidence” that people gave came down to ONE of the development team “liking” a facebook page and nothing more), then I would like to point out that it could quite as easily be the people who have essentially libelled an entire company who deserve to have their earning potential and publicity removed for their hateful and damaging actions.

        Sadly people are not vigilant enough in cases like this a lot of the time and will believe without question when accusations such as this are levelled at someone because they would rather distance themselves and not care if they are wrong than give somebody the chance to prove them wrong.

        Also some people are more than happy to make flimsy affirmations to uphold their standpoint (for instance I believe the fact that a couple of the dev team in question had a bald head and tattoos, was used as reasoning for them definitely being Neo-Nazis, even though that is in no way any form of evidence or proof as such).

    • bonuswavepilot says:

      So that link does seem to show some evidence that the devs are into their far-right racist madness, but from what I could tell from the trailer (ugh, it really does look fucking awful by the way) – the murder spree seemed not to be limited to any particular race, though the protagonist does refer to it as ‘genocide’ in the narration.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Oh, that tumblr is certainly very tumblr-y – for all the good they do they’re the kind of site that includes Dreamfall: Chapters as an example of “Oh, God, a fictional character is using bigoted, discriminatory language without it repeatedly and explicitly being called out as wrong!!11!1!” etc. But the Hatred post seems fairly on the money, and despite the language in the post I did think a few of those shots of killing NPCs were a bit too isn’t-this-awesome even for hardened gorehounds.

    • Premium User Badge

      Henke says:

      Polygon posted about both the accusations and the CEO responding to them: link to polygon.com

      • Eight Rooks says:

        I appreciate the link (I don’t read Polygon) but… ah, so they gave that kind of response. Yeah, I’ve seen enough of that from hardcore Putin supporters on The Economist’s comment threads, thank you. They support hate groups, and they like hinting at idiot conspiracy theories, too – kick ’em out.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Just something to point out in fairness:

      First, these are accusations.

      Second: Why is it that, when young liberals go out and do stuff like this for real, their politics are left out of it but when someone makes a game about and they might – and only might – sympathize with the Right, their politics have to be a part of it?

      Just thought I would ask, seriously, why that is? I dont particularly care for either “side” of the fence myself – I think they are both part of the problem here in the US – but I thought I would ask out of fairness.

      • honuk says:

        when “young liberals” pick up machine guns and unload in shopping malls? I don’t quite get what you’re asking, here.

        • dorobo says:

          Just ban those guns allready… Does it matter how that three year old was influenced to pick up that gun and point it at his mother? Simple curiosity maybe?

          • theblazeuk says:

            Can a young liberal shoot somewhere up whilst still advocating gun control???

            It’s a crazy world this imaginary person lives in.

      • Horg says:

        ”liberals”

        People keep using that word. I don’t think it means, what you think it means.

      • gnodab says:

        If you refer to a “liberal bias” in media, I don’t see how this matters in this case.
        There are differences on the “right” as well. It is one thing to prefer Friedman to Marx or consider freedom more important than political correctness, but this has nothing to do with supporting racist ideologies. Ignoring these differences is more damaging to people on the “right” than any tumblertantrum could ever be.

        As for removing the game. If Valve dropped it because of said tweets I have no problem with it (similarly to the removal of Paranautical Activity). It might not be possible (nor would it be desirable) to monitor the political leanings of every dev, but if a dev goes out of his way to make these leanings public they become a valid criteria for criticism.
        Dropping the game because of it’s content, would be laughable. Most FPS can be seen as murder simulators and if the devs choose the edgelord aesthetic it only becomes funnier. So laugh at them but by all means, how could anybody take them seriously!?! Also removing the game, while we got Manhunt, Postal, etc is just dishonest. And if Valve want to start curating based on quality of the content, then they might have to axe half their catalog.

      • theblazeuk says:

        When has a ‘young liberal’ shot a place up?

        • danijami23 says:

          I SAID LET’S BE PEACEFUL AND CO EXIST!!!

          dakadakadakadakadakadakadaka

      • alright says:

        Do you have an example of “young liberals” shooting up places due to their politics? (I’m not american btw, so the term liberal doesn’t feel appropriate). Because there are enough examples of far-right views leading to that.

    • mathead says:

      That’s enough expanation for me. I wouldn’t sell CDs from Skrewdriver in my store. Neither would I sell a murder game made by nazis.

    • Stevostin says:

      Yeah well. You live in a country that actually give to far right people exactly the same vote power as you. If you’re all in to mute those guys, put your money where you’re word is and ask for them to be destituted of their right to elect and be elected. Sure, that would no democracy any more, which would firmly show you for the anti democrate you are, but the good thing is that the people like you’ll have against you on this (like me) will still be ready to fight for your right to elect and be elected, despite you clearly supporting hate and discrimination rather than sensible talk and mutual respect.

      • bonuswavepilot says:

        Valve =/= ‘Merca

        It’s a shop, not a country – they’re under no obligation to represent anything if they don’t want to.

      • theblazeuk says:

        My god, has no-one acknowledged your heroism before? Truly, you are a prince among men.

      • Monkeyshines says:

        Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • Deadly Sinner says:

        Are you a troll, or are you the developers? Not supporting does not equate to oppression. And you advocating that we actually try to oppress them is quite curious coming from someone who is supposedly against that.

        I don’t know why you’re ranting at us, though. It’s the hate groups that these developers supposedly support that actively oppress people.

    • Orija says:

      Don’t really give a shit about the personal history or political ideology of an artist or content creator. They could be paedophilia-advocates for all I care as long as they release a good game.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        As is your right. I do care. For what little it’s worth, I don’t buy stuff from people who come out in support of causes I find repellent (pretty sure I’ll never buy anything by Frank Miller, Orson Scott Card or Dan Simmons again, for example). And I don’t dispute any creative person’s right to promote whatever ideology they choose, but I don’t believe that everyone else should be falling over themselves to let them promote it. If the devs can find other distribution channels to push the game and they’re not breaking any laws in doing so, good for them. But I don’t believe every distributor should be waving them through on principle, in the same way I’m fine with the idea no critic has any obligation to talk about them beyond “This is disgusting” if they don’t want to, or that no physical retail store has to sell their product if they don’t want to be associated with it, etc., etc.

        • Orija says:

          From the way you started I thought you were going to write about how contemporary media needs to conform to modern sensibilities, but it seems all you want to say is that people should be allowed to say no to developers/clients if they measure too high on the former’s this-is-disgusting scale. I’m pretty sure this is what racists wanted all along too.

          • Foglet says:

            …all you want to say is that people should be allowed to say no to developers/clients if they measure too high on the former’s this-is-disgusting scale. I’m pretty sure this is what racists wanted all along too.

            A customer or reseller’s right to pick and choose what to deal with its pretty basic, with reasons as minor as “Nah, don’t feel like it” usually being sufficient, to speak nothing of any other grounds. “If you agree with this, YOU do as racists did!” is ‘Hitler-ate-sugar’ grade far-fetched.

        • Skull says:

          What is wrong with Dan Simmonds? The last novel of his I read ‘Carrion Comfort’ had a jewish protagonist and was very much about the atrocities of the holocaust (although, significantly hammed up with a magical element). The evil guy is a high ranking nazi official who is pretty much the definition of scum bag nazi who has no redeeming qualities.

          Not an argument but I feel you are missing out on one of the best authors around due to some misunderstanding?

        • Frosty Grin says:

          So, would it be a good idea for bookstores to stop selling Orson Scott Card’s books? What if it’s a retailer that controls the same percentage of the market as Steam?

          • Foglet says:

            As good a reason as “they don’t sell” or “my ex ran away with this author twelve years ago”.

      • mathead says:

        You have the right to be an opportunist.

    • statistx says:

      1. Note the word “accusations”. I read through that article and most of the Points don’t even have links to any evidence. Even the Tattoo of the swastika isn’t telling me anything, since as the article Points out, it was something else before the Nazis used it as their Symbol and the design of the whole Tattoo looks like referencing something older (Can’t read polish, so i don’t know what it says, but it sure as hell doesn’t mention Nazis)
      The Devs themselves said that the accusations are silly and i have no reason to think otherwise.
      Overall the Protagonist and the devs look more like the usual Metal crowd and outside from some niche metal areas, Metal rarely equals nazi.

      1a. I don’t see the political orientation of some developement staff being any reason for allowing or disallowing games, as long as the game isn’t a recruting sim for that. The whole “White guy killing black guys” in the Trailer is bullshit too, since the bodycount is distributed over more races.
      Who tells you that your favorite gamestudio isn’t full of racists, Pedophiles, Spouse-Abusers or fled Nazis from WW2?

      2. The whole shitstorm is silly. Postal 1 had even less justification for the civilian killing than postal 2 and the original uncut Version even has you throw molotovs into a playground full of children (which was cut from the german Version)

      So to end this: I am not sure where I stand on this game.
      I played Postal 1 and 2, enjoyed 2 for the sillyness and played Manhunt for the idea and athmosphere behind it.
      This looks close to Postal 1 gameplaywise and if it is just that, then I probably would get bored by it.

      What I do know is, that I don’t care about it being offensive, since I am defending the viewpoint that a game is a game and nothing more.

      • statistx says:

        In the end, the only real question is:

        Would Steam have taken it down if it wasn’t hyped up by the media as the big bad wolf?

        • Faxanadu says:

          Indeed, this is the real question, and I belive the answer is no.

          Valve couldn’t handle blacklash from people who probably don’t even play games.

          So they decided to cater to people who don’t play games, against people (like me) who play games.

          Bad move. Just my opinion. -1 point to Valve. Still no EA though.

          (I laugh at people who bring their opinions of politics into making games. (When the games aren’t obviously political.) Go and make a difference where it matters and stop wasting your time here. Hey, just my opinion again.)

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        The tattoos are very very obviously Neo-Nazi and I’m amazed there are people willing to dispute that.

        Yes, the swastika is much older than Nazi Germany, and so is the sunwheel. If you found this design on anything made before the 20th century, it would be very obvious that it has nothing to do with this ideology. But anyone using these symbols today is either a) incredibly ignorant or b) referencing Nazis. There is no other option. And if you see someone use several such symbols in a row or mashed together, in the red-and-black colour scheme favoured by the Nazi Party, the probability of this being accidental is zero.

        • Skull says:

          They are metal heads, you can see one of them is wearing a black metal shirt. Scandinavian and eastern European / Russian metal makes strong reference to Norse and celtic themes. Bands like Skyforger use a stylised swastika in their logo but never associate themselves with nazi ideology. Other bands such as Amon Amarth and Tyr use nordic logos (similar to the ones seen in the tattoos) but they sing about vikings and norse legends, never WW2.

          People need to stop relating these nordic themes to nazis just because Hitler took some of their designs. It is a really interesting part of history to read up on and you can see why people are drawn to it. There is a similar problem in Germany with a clothing manufacturer called Thor Steinar who make high quality clothing with nordic runes on as a design. However, they get shunned as a neo-nazi company (despite being owned by an Israeli holding firm) that just makes more fascist sympathisers flock to them which is a shame for everyone.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            But those are not just some random runes. Please read up on this and check the pictures. The tattoo is not something that sort of looks like this, it’s exactly this.

            If you add to this the fact that the guy who’s pictured as having this tattoo also has a design on his shoulder that’s roughly shaped like the German iron cross with a skull in the middle, I don’t think there’s much room left to wiggle out of this. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck etc.

          • piratmonkey says:

            @basilisk

            I think you mean: it it honks like a goose, steps like a goose, etc..

          • iniudan says:

            Basilisk, you need to go play some Brütal Legend and learn what the iconography of metal are, iron cross and skull are pretty common iconography among metalhead. Motorhead and Biker also like their Iron Cross, biker also like helm that look like stahlhelm, you know why they like them, it is because they find it look good. Btw modern firefighter in Germany also wear stahlhelm, because it’s a good helmet design.

            Also the Nazi regime didn’t put skull on iron cross, but one of the thing that crossbone skull on an iron cross was, is the insigna of a Polish hussar division during the Polish-Soviet war in 1920.

            Also in the early time of them been accused of been Nazi, their detractor also associated the Cursed Soldiers to be a Nazi group, as the were wearing thing referencing to them. The Cursed Soldiers been the Polish nationalist resistance to the Soviet, once they pushed back the Nazi, the trouble is that a good portion of the Cursed Soldiers were also the resistance against the Nazi… So accusing the Cursed Soldiers, who are recognized as hero by the current government of Poland, is kind of very disrespectful, even if they are a controversial group, as at the time of their activity, they didn’t have official support of the government-in-exile, as it would have likely triggered a civil war, which we can guess would’ve brought the Soviet to intervene in full force.

            So from that I would say the dev are Polish nationalist and/or anti-communist. But been a Polish nationalist in Poland isn’t abnormal, especially since Poland as spend the majority of it time under foreign occupation or regime since the end of the 18th century, they only recovered their independence 25 years ago, which is also when WW2 government-in-exile finally gave back their de jure insignia to the de facto Polish government, once it was elected. As for been anti-communist, well spending 45 years under a proletarian dictatorial regime, tend to breed that into your population.

            So yes they might have element of nationalism and anti-communist, that would check the list of what is a Nazi, but if you look at Poland history the accusation is still ridiculous.

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            I am aware of all those facts. But symbols and signs are tricky little things.

            Would you say that it is impossible to interpret the ornaments on the man’s skin as neo-nazi emblems? Surely not; the origins of the sunwheel design are very straightforward. And if it is not impossible, why would he adorn himself with such emblems unless he was content with that possible interpretation?

          • Stupoider says:

            @basilisk:

            I don’t really know if you’re in a position to be making these allegations.

            I’m assuming you aren’t polish. Secondly I am assuming you don’t belong to the particular sub-culture in general.

            Of course you may interpret it the way you see fit, but to ignore the context of such iconography, or the fact that Poland has a different culture (only gaining indepence in the past 25 years)… to ignore that would be pretty shortsighted.

            I’ve yet to see any solid evidence that these guys are all racist neo-nazis. Only these accusations, based on a Facebook like. I liked the BNP back in my Secondary School days because I liked to get into arguments about their racism on each of their Facebook updates, but that didn’t mean I was a supporter.

        • jonahcutter says:

          The swastika is a long-standing Hindu religious symbol, and is still used by that religion today. Hindus have not surrendered their use of it to the legacy of Nazism.

          I learned this many years ago from a local Indian joint, who had a banner up with swastikas incorporated into the religious imagery. The power of curry to educate! I pay tribute to the Indian overlords of my tastebuds.

          p.s. It’s also used by Buddhists.

          • Volcanu says:

            Correct. Indeed a few of my friends had cloths with swastikas on at their weddings/ are holding them in their wedding photos. Which provoked a few quiet chuckles from the non Hindu guests.

            It’s a question of context isnt it.? As such I would have to disagree with basilisk’s precise wording (above), as for many millions of Hindu’s the symbol means something completely different and many are only dimly aware of the German fascist misappropriation.

            However, its safe to say most of the time a swastika is displayed by (for use of a blunt term) “Westerners” it’s not because someone wanted to display an eastern symbol of good fortune.

          • David Bliff says:

            I’m sure the Polish developers are devout followers of Hinduism. That seems most likely, since we all known Eastern Europe and Poland in particular has no issues with antisemitism, right?
            link to edition.cnn.com

          • jonahcutter says:

            Absolutely. Obviously the symbol means something different to most “western” peoples. Its link in the Western mind to National Socialism is, unfortunately, probably permanent.

            I was pointing out though that you may indeed encounter it, even in the West, where it is not a symbol of ignorance or Nazism at all. It is Hindu. It is Buddhist. Even in our modern world.

            Well, unless you count religion itself as ignorance… but that’s an entirely different debate. ;)

          • Premium User Badge

            basilisk says:

            Yes, I suppose I should have put a “in the Western civilization” somewhere in there for clarity, but honestly, that’s splitting hairs. We’re having this discussion on a British blog, talking about a Polish game that (I assume) takes place in America, which should be providing enough context here.

            You are right when you correct me, of course, but I don’t think it was strictly necessary.

    • airmikee says:

      So this is nothing more than neo-Nazi’s trying to infect people with their hatred, and somehow people are defending this game and hating on retailers that refuse to carry a product born out of the worst parts of humanity?

      • RegisteredUser says:

        Or all of that is incredibly false.

      • Distec says:

        That is absolutely the case if you think people who disagree with you are Nazis.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Exactly this. Thank you.

  3. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    It’s also odd that Valve still don’t seem to have decided whether they want to curate Steam or not. As well as the question of why this particular murder simulator (for want of a better term) was taken down while others stay up as John says, there’s been a lot of utter dross on Steam recently which they seem quite happy to have on the platform. Can’t help thinking they should make their minds up.

    (For what it’s worth I’d rather they did curate, and am happy not to have Hatred advertised at me on Steam, but I just find the inbetween stance odd.)

    • LionsPhil says:

      I suspect they don’t have a consistent internal policy and it’s down to whoever has wheeled their desk over to the “Steam admin” sign at the time.

      But, yeah, they probably should work one out, for the benefit of their own image, and so that developers know where they stand.

      Edit: According to RobF below one does exist, it’s just semi-hidden.

    • Geebs says:

      What I’m surprised by is that Valve don’t have some sort of screening process – I mean, it was already known that this game seemed in very poor taste and was made by some guys who were making broad hints about being a bunch of racists, AND went so far as to reference “genocide” prominently in the marketing materials.

      So yeah, wouldn’t it have been less controversial never to have put it on Greenlight? I blame Flipfly for all of this….. (Joke)

      • RobF says:

        Greenlight is the screening process.

        • Geebs says:

          You’re saying that Valve is so averse to hiring people that somebody could submit a game where you play as Hitler and the aim is to shag Gabe Newell into a blender, and they’d actually put it up on Greenlight before anybody looked at it?

          • Baines says:

            Probably. At least if people didn’t complain after seeing the Greenlight project.

            Greenlight was Valve crowdsourcing the approval process because Valve didn’t feel like doing it themselves anymore. Valve relies on the public to vote for ‘good’ games and ignore the bad (which doesn’t happen) as well as to make a fuss whenever something is too obviously illegal/controversial for Valve to risk associating with (at least if Valve doesn’t think it will make them enough money to make up for the risk.)

          • RobF says:

            As long as you pay your moneys, you can put a Greenlight page up for you regurgitating your own dinner if you want. Whether that page stays up for more than an hour or so however, well…

            And this is another thing I guess people maybe don’t know, I don’t know -how- regular it happens but there’s been plenty of stuff pulled from Greenlight before and it’ll happen again. Just y’know, in the main no-one really cares about it other than the poor bastard who has to screen it and wonder why someone spent close to a hundred quid on doing that.

          • Geebs says:

            Blimey. Ok I’m not joking any more, it is all Flipfly’s fault.

            (fault as in, contributing to conditions ideal for Internet Drama, no real blame applied)

  4. Guvornator says:

    I suspect Valve’s criteria are “How does this game reflect on Valve?”.

  5. PearlChoco says:

    This makes me wonder… would a porn game be allowed by Valve? And would it “feed directly into a fear held by a minority of games players who believe the industry is rife with censorship” were one to be removed by Valve?

    • N1kolas says:

      They removed “Seduce Me” from Greenlight, so the first question has already been answered.

      “Seduce Me” turned out to be a collection of horrible mini-games with impenetrable (ha!) logic – I gave up in disgust because of the gameplay after 15 minutes, and I never got to see anything resembling sex, or indeed nudity.

      Still, the game being terrible isn’t an excuse for censorship – unless anyone believes that the Steam Store that currently allows just about any shovelware (in some cases broken shovelware) to be listed, suddenly got sensitive about this particular game’s terrible gameplay.

  6. The Dark One says:

    The more important question- would they allow Christine Love’s next kinktastic visual novel on Steam?

  7. jezcentral says:

    This is censorship in the same way Target not selling GTA5 is censorship. I.e. it isn’t.

    A private company doesn’t want to stock something. That’s allowed.

    • Stevostin says:

      You seem to get the sense of censorship wrong. Censorship isn’t by itself illegal. No one here say that Valve is doing something illegal, but it’s questionable for sure.

      • The First Door says:

        It absolutely isn’t censorship or questionable. They are simply refusing to sell or support a product, support incidentally which directly costs them money. They aren’t stopping anybody buying the product from elsewhere, they aren’t stopping anybody using the product, and they damn sure haven’t stopped people hearing about this product by doing this.

        You can disagree with their decision, but in the end they can choose what they want to sell. If you want to do something about it, set up your own store.

        • P.Funk says:

          The issue those who make your argument fail to acknowledge is what happens when a vendor is so overwhelmingly in control of the market as to have a near monopoly and they start to ‘curate’ content based on arbitrary values.

          I know, games aren’t culture, games as art is stupid, this is just pure economics, consumerism, culture is nowhere near this billion dollar hobby, yadda yadda.

          People can buy it elsewhere, but Valve wants to be the centrepiece of people’s gaming and not just that but their social and cultural interaction with the entire thing. It goes beyond a store, its trying to be more. .Its trying to be the centre of your gaming universe and succeeding at it so then the question is what if this is the entity that drives a portion of our gaming culture and is manipulating what people see on the store front based on arbitrary values.

          Isn’t that something worth discussing? No? Fine, gaming isn’t culture, its just consumerism.

          • jezcentral says:

            I don’t regard ~10% of the videogaming market as a near-monopoly.

          • iainl says:

            Film’s art. Far more obviously than videogames (though I do think games are art, too). And yet the number of cinema screens available to a movie that has either been given an NC-17 rating by the MPAA or hasn’t been rated at all, is a tiny fraction of those available to one with a PG-13. This is, apparently, just fine.

            Because this is all about the commercial presentation of art, not the art itself. What you’ve got a problem with is Steam’s ubiquity, not its decision on what it will or won’t sell.

  8. honuk says:

    there are differences between this garbage and somewhat similar garbage like manhunt and postal. manhunt at least attempts to approximate the shock value of snuff, and its attempts at 1) presenting the player as a victim of a sadistic overlord, and 2) mimicing the presentation of securtiy cameras and the like read like some sort of creativity or commentary. is it trash on the level of pseudo snuff slasher flicks like the saw series? yep. but saw was in your regular theaters too. postal was crappy comedy. hatred is simple pornography. it’s not saying anything, there is no attempt to do anything save present a gross scenario in as graphic a manner as possible so as to titillate losers. it’s the old “you know it when you see it” argument.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Well reasoned and well said. I think this really is all the reasonable commentary needed on the situation.

      Where games like GTA let you go on a murder spree if you so choose, this isn’t the point of the game. That some players still choose to do this in those games says far more about the player than the game, in my opinion. With Hatred, though, the murder simulator is the point. Its literally the only reason the game exists. Its tasteless and offensive in a way I personally feel is pretty objective.

      By all means buy it if you want. I frankly have no desire to support this sort of thing and I too feel its the ‘you know it when you see it’ threshold, in terms of ‘when does something cross the line’ into tastelessness.

    • Archonsod says:

      Hatred is an isometric shooter in which you gun down police and civilians. Postal 1 is an isometric shooter in which you gun down police and civilians. Heck, back in the day Postal 1 even utilised the same ‘ultraviolence’ marketing as Hatred is. Makes me wonder if Valve would have taken the same stance had the Hatred devs stated their game was simply a modern remake of Postal.

      • honuk says:

        postal is ridiculous. it’s supposed to be Dumb. hatred shoots for realism, lionizes the protagonist, and highlights the suffering of the victims so as to emphasize the player/protagonist’s power.

        are their plenty of problems with dumb, egregious violence elsewhere in video games? absolutely. I criticize plenty of it. this is above and beyond.

        • Jackablade says:

          Postal and Postal 2 are very, very different games.
          link to youtube.com
          Looking back at this now, what stands out now is how completely terrible it is. If people hadn’t kicked up a stink about the violence, I’d doubt anyone would remember it at all. Maybe that’s a lesson that should be applied here too.

    • P.Funk says:

      “1) presenting the player as a victim of a sadistic overlord”

      In other words its still okay to enjoy killing in that game because its giving you a moral ‘out’ for your actions.

      • honuk says:

        yes and no. I think the game is trashy. I think there are a whole lot of games (especially lately) that use some version of this to excuse extreme violence, and I think those games are lazy and crappy (most recent example: shadow of mordor, where “blah blah revenge” sets you up to be a sadistic terrorist). but they are not as bad as hatred.

  9. Belsameth says:

    I get that they denied access to Hatred. It does seem a bit two faced tho, seeing how theres games on there that are nothing more but glorified scams, but they don’t get removed or stopped at the door.

    • Lurid says:

      “We here at Valve are happy to sell you shit, as long as it’s not political shit.”

  10. RobF says:

    I’ve shouted about this a lot today but Valve have very explicit rules for what they won’t carry and Hatred would, by all accounts, fail on a number of them.

    Part of the problem is, I think, that the more detailed rules about what Valve will absolutely not allow to be published on Steam aren’t (I don’t think, if anyone knows different I’m all ears) entirely visible until you’ve passed Greenlight. BUT, they exist, they’re there and they cover games that are made to shock or upset the audience and hate speech also. There’s a sort of lite version when you log into Greenlight to submit your game which gives you a good idea that Hatred wouldn’t fly anyway.

    But I think talking about Steam-as-monopoly is a bit of a distraction in this specific case. The game is still allowed to exist and it is allowed to exist uncensored. Valve have no say or control over the content and nor will any of their actions significantly change the content. That the developers may/may not struggle to make a living from selling their -deliberately controversial- work is an issue across the board for any media. You won’t find Salo in ASDA when you nip the shop later, right?

    And Greenlight is developers pitching their game for shelf space. Albeit virtual shelf space and Greenlight is rubbish BUT that’s what it is. And whilst I think Valve need to be better at what does and does not get onto Steam, it’s really important to help create better spaces for people to sell their works, they have the ability to say no to carrying things. Just like any and every other shop ever should. And if they don’t want to stock a game that’s clearly designed to cause controversy and likely cause upset too, I’m OK with this.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      Rob – are these public, or buried in confidential developer contracts? If the former, can you share them? If the later…well, that’s kind of dumb :(

      I’m most interested in how these rules ban Hatred but not Postal. Perhaps they draw a distinction for satire and Postal, lazy as it may be, at least attempts to pass itself of as that in a way that Hatred doesn’t?

      • RobF says:

        They’re locked behind a contract wall and I didn’t bother keeping a copy because I’m not likely to fall foul of them. They’re probably pretty much what you’re expecting them to be, mind.

        The rough guide when you go to submit your game to Greenlight covers them in a more vague manner but you can get the general gist from there:

        Someone else’s game or software, unless you have specific authorization to do so
        Porn, inappropriate or offensive content, warez, or leaked content
        Cheating, hacking, or game exploits
        Threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke
        Games or software using copyrighted material such as assets or intellectual property without permission from the owner
        Soliciting, begging, auctioning, selling, advertising, referrals, racism, or discrimination

        I think when it comes to Postal/Postal 2, we have the benefit of hindsight with them and we’re able to place them within a specific context. And not to be too callous, that context is one where they’re mainly just a bit rubbish and dated. Maybe they were shocking and would have fallen foul of the rules upon release, now they’re just a bit of historical tat.

        And I think, generally, that’s a good sort of leeway to have with the rules because things do become relics and lose their power to shock and offend with time. Whether that’s how Valve see it, mind… *shrugs*

        • LionsPhil says:

          I hear it doesn’t hold so much for 1, but Postal 2 (at least in the scope of the demo) was pretty much low-brow comedy rather than actual horribleness. It giggled at wee and sick and decapitating people cleanly with a shovel while displaying a cast of stereotypes with silly accents. It may check off a lot of the -ists, but there’s not much real hate to it, and it’s more a celebration of anarchic sociopathic freedom than it is muttering under its breath and planning the next national-news shooting spree.

          Also it let you buy milk by queuing up like a civilized human being, so all the consequence-free mayhem was YOUR DOING, PLAYER. Totally an art game. Totally.

    • Archonsod says:

      I think the problem is more that they already carry similar games (as I said above, Postal 1 was exactly the same, and designed purely to cause shock and controversy at the time) on their service, which begs the question whether these rules are being selectively applied. If for example Hatred was being developed by Running With Scissors as a modern remake of the original Postal, would Valve equally refuse to carry it, or would the fact that they’re a well known developer and it’s an existing franchise give them a free pass?

      Or in other words, is Greenlight really there to help smaller developers get their games up on Steam, or is it in danger of becoming (like Kickstarter) just another way for established devs to do pre-order.

      • RobF says:

        “If for example Hatred was being developed by Running With Scissors as a modern remake of the original Postal, would Valve equally refuse to carry it, or would the fact that they’re a well known developer and it’s an existing franchise give them a free pass?”

        We’ve seen repeatedly that there isn’t a free pass. Ubisoft don’t get a free pass. EA don’t get a free pass. RWS wouldn’t get a look in in the free pass stakes.

        But to sort of answer your question a bit, probably depends on how RWS remade this hypothetical Postal thing, right? As I muttered above, one of the things about looking at Postal now is that it’s a bit rubbishy, ugly and tatty. It’s dated and it hasn’t dated well.

        So let’s throw in another hypothetical for the funsies – Custer’s Revenge. What if someone made that with today’s technology (and not the cartoony Brazillian one from 2007, a proper full on 3d remake of a game where your only goal is to traverse a desert to assault a woman). Technology itself changes the context there, right? Suddenly we’re not a few pixels doing pixelly assault and we’d need to look at that rather than -just- say “pfft, there’s already a game that exists that does this mechanically or thematically”.

        When it comes to these things, it’s all in the granularity and nuance, y’know? And that’s what we’d have to address if RWS remade Postal. How much would the tech we have now change that? What if they made changes to the game thematically to make it less crap-satire and more offensive instead?

        But of course, that’s the problem with this hypothetical, it’s exactly that and unless it happens, we’ll not know. So far, Valve have shown that they do have lines they won’t cross, they have rules they ask developers not to cross in order to have their product sold on their store but that they’re willing to bend those rules for certain titles. And that ability to bend is really important, I reckon. Especially as we head into a new dawn of serious games tackling serious things. We need that ability to bend the rules but not one that gives everyone a free pass because that probably wouldn’t be so good.

        • MaXimillion says:

          “We’ve seen repeatedly that there isn’t a free pass. Ubisoft don’t get a free pass. EA don’t get a free pass.”
          Perhaps not a free pass, but I think they they’ve got a bit more freedom regarding content. Games by big publishers are allowed to feature sex scenes and show nipples, whereas the most explicit indie games I know of on Steam don’t.

  11. almostDead says:

    Hotline Miami is art though.

    • Monggerel says:

      No it isn’t. But take one look at Hotline Miami then at this game and try and tell me they come from similar sensibilities.

      • mukuste says:

        Yes it is.

        • airmikee says:

          Killing thugs bent on killing you is the same thing as killing unarmed civilians that can not fight back?

          O……..k………. /slowlybacksaway

      • pepperfez says:

        I mean, isn’t the fact that you can detect a sensibility other than “I think murder is cool” in Hotline strong evidence of artistry? Like, the difference between Tarantino and simulated snuff films.

  12. Laini says:

    It’s hideous, and we’re a small-scale, independently owned gaming site that curates what we want to appear on our pages. But then, we’re not yet a gaming site with a monopoly

    Not sure how the second thing negates the first.
    Just because Steam is a large marketplace doesn’t mean the rules change regarding what they want to appear on it’s pages.
    I mean, if RPS had 80% of the PC gaming readership online would your stance on Hatred be any different?

    • Neki says:

      I don’t know if curating content would fall under that, buy yes monopolies are usually regulated and fall under different rules and laws to protect consumers.

    • bill says:

      It means that the implications/effects are much bigger.

      If your local video shop refuses to stock certificate 18 movies then it makes no big difference in the long run.

      If Walmart or someone that size refuses to stock cert 18 movies then movie studios will stop making cert 18 movies and the range of the entire artform has been altered.

      This is a much more specific case than that, but I imagine that’s the kind of thing people have in mind.

      • Sandepande says:

        If Walmart does not stock something, all that does is prevent such material becoming mainstream. It does not make it completely gone, unless it is a product which requires so much investment that mass markets are the only way to keep making it.

        As far as games go, big publishers have never been comfortable with “controversial” subjects (violent entertainment doesn’t count, because that has been a popular pastime for humans for, well, probably as long as we’ve had any sort of culture going), but still there are people making stuff like Hatred. If Valve doesn’t want Steam to sell something, it hardly alters the whole industry.

  13. drewski says:

    I’m exactly as outraged about this as I was about Target and Kmart not stocking GTA 5 in Australia; ie. I am not at all outraged.

  14. Shockeh says:

    Bravo Valve – Never forget it’s not their responsibility to ‘stock’ anything. It’s their choice, and we choose whether we utilise the service or not knowing this.

    Valve are not required at ALL to provide guidelines on what they will/won’t carry, and even if they do, they’re not required in any way to adhere to them beyond ‘driving users away’ – They can change them on a whim if they feel like, or just decide whole sections of rules do apply to X title whilst they don’t apply to Y.

    If Valve don’t want this on the store (and from what I’ve read, I personally agree, but that’s by the by) that’s entirely up to them, and I’m glad they won’t be browbeaten over it one way or another.

    • The First Door says:

      I couldn’t agree more. Leaving aside what I think of this game, I don’t see this situation as any different to Paranautical Activity. To be blunt, Valve can decide what the want to sell on Steam, pure and simple. If they don’t want to sell your game, they don’t have to. It really doesn’t matter if there are inconsistencies on their store.

  15. Pich says:

    It’s probably gonna show up on GoG, so i don’t really care.

    • darkhog says:

      On one Polish site I’ve read that they talked to Desura and they happily agreed to sell this game, even knowing well enough what that game is.

  16. Drake Sigar says:

    I guess their policy is to accept a game with any justification for killing hundreds of people, no matter how thin.

    When Steam bans something from sale it gets extra ire (though probably not enough to get a repeat of the Target incident) for seemingly putting so little effort into curation. The store is flooded with games that are either flat out broken, and games which are blatant copies or have stolen assets. When Steam bursts through my front door five hours late for dinner and smelling of piss, shouting ‘Ish ooakay, I goat your bak!’, I’m not going to play along.

    • ahac says:

      > I guess their policy is to accept a game with any justification for killing hundreds of people, no matter how thin.

      Maybe Hatred has some kind of justification for the killing. Valve can’t know, they haven’t actually played the game… Their decision is based on a trailer and a few developer responses.

    • airmikee says:

      “The store is flooded with games that are either flat out broken, and games which are blatant copies or have stolen assets.”

      Because no game in the history of video games was released in a broken state before Steam, right? It’s all Steams fault this problem exists, right?

      *cough Turok:Rage Wars link to micro-64.com cough*

      *cough Pools of Radiance:Ruins of Myth Drannor link to archive.arstechnica.com cough*

      Video game developers rush their games, and sometimes they steal assets, but what does that have to do with the store in which the game is purchased? And when a game is released so broken that it’s unplayable, Steam has removed the game and refunded customers while still allowing them to keep the broken game. Legends of Pegasus, WarZ, and Earth:Year 2066 being recent examples. So how does that show Steam to be anything other than a relatively responsible retailer?

      • Baines says:

        War Z was only temporarily removed, and was reinstated for sale when the game’s name was changed to Infestation: Survivor Stories. It took quite a bit for even the temporary removal. A day of Steam forum controversy (with a publisher mod violating Steam rules in his attempt to mount a mass censorship campaign against criticism of the game) wasn’t enough, with Valve’s sluggish response there ultimately being to itself bury the issue in silence. The early firestorm wasn’t enough, with Valve seemingly happy to continue to sell (the top-selling) War Z as criticisms mounted. The game being sold with a description containing provable lies wasn’t enough, with Valve sluggishly only asking the publisher to rewrite the description.

        War Z was ultimately only (temporarily) pulled from sale after the firestorm had grown to the point that Valve itself was repeatedly placed under fire, and after consumers noted that the publisher’s *second* posted store description still contained lies. (Yes, Valve didn’t even bother to check if the second store description was honest.)

        And again, remember that with everything that happened, War Z was only *temporarily* removed from sale. It returned under a different name after the firestorm subsided.

        And Valve still sells games that do not work properly on modern systems, without even posting warnings. In at least one case the publisher has said that they couldn’t fix the game because they didn’t have the source code.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        You’re missing his point: Valve love to drag their feet when it comes to issues of positive consumer policy, yet they’re totally fine with jumping the gun and removing a product that may or may not be as evil as observers are claiming it is.

  17. darkhog says:

    This is just Valve hating Polish developers. And why? Because Polish programmers are simply best in the whole freaking world, programming contest after programming contest proving it. On top of that, they usually deliver on time.

    I have great deal of hatred for Valve removing this game. See what I did here?

    Doesn’t matter though since Streissand effect is a bitch and will bite Valve in their asse(t)s. Instead of 30% of millions this game will surely make, Valve will get whooping 0% of that.

    • honuk says:

      sounds more or less like you’d expect someone interested in this game to sound, doesn’t he?

      • darkhog says:

        Yes. I’ll play it just like I was playing original Doom (and Doom 2), original Postal, Manhunt (1 & 2, 2nd uncensored), GTA, CoD. This is just another game. You shoot pixels/polygons on screen, not real people. And if someone will go, pardon the pun, postal after playing it, well, he/she wasn’t psychically stable to begin with.

        I’ll also watch with pleasure how much time Valve will waste before releasing HL3, even if it has currently like 10 maps and is bit buggy, but not much.

    • c-Row says:

      I don’t see why you would hate anybody for delivering quality work on time. Also, all the Witcher games on Steam somewhat counter your point.

      • darkhog says:

        Envy, ever heard of that? Valve is just envious that Polish programmers can work so fast and deliver. How many years Valve is making HL3 not having guts to either cancel it altogether or release as-is? Meanwhile somewhere in Poland people were able to put together great action slasher in just few months that could probably be released even now and still be a good game based on gameplay seen in trailers.

        • Volcanu says:

          I think you might be on to something here. Valve must be green with envy over this (no doubt) seminal work. I mean, when did they EVER release a game that redefined a genre or created a new one?

          Those Valve guys and their flagrant anti-Pole agenda must be exposed. Its bad enough that they dont sell any games by CD Projekt Red because of racism and um…oh yeah, envy but now THIS?

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Witcher, Cinders, the Anomaly series, This War of Mine, Shadow Warrior, Hard Reset, Painkiller… All games on Steam, all by Polish developers.

      Now try again.

      • darkhog says:

        All of which are either based on previous work (The Witcher series), are somewhat more advanced chess (anomaly POS), not really a game (This war of mine – typical walking simulator, Cinders – visual novel), rehash of old concepts that doesn’t look much different from similar games both mechanically and story/graphics-wise (Hard Reset – typical SF shooter, not unlike Nexuiz, Xonotic, heck, even Q3 Arena), is remake of some old game (Shadow Warrior) or is 10 years old (Painkiller).

        Truly original games are destroyed out of envy, because Valve couldn’t do same in similar amount of time.

        We didn’t get anything remotely close to Hatred since original Postal, and no, Postal 2 POS doesn’t count, so it is not rehash. Also graphics-wise it’s different. Original Postal had some of most vomit-inducing pixelart I’ve ever seen, this look so much better.

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          “Truly original games are destroyed out of envy, because Valve couldn’t do same in similar amount of time.”

          Hatred is a pointless game about nothing. I doubt Valve really cares. I don’t.

        • Philomelle says:

          You might want to actually check out This War of Mine and what it’s about. Not to involve myself with the rest of your argument, but actually knowing things you talk about might give you a passing hint of credibility.

        • darkhog says:

          Forgot to add: All of these games were made by “established” companies/publishers. None of these had to go through Greenlight. If they’d had to, they’d probably get shot down too. This is especially worrisome for me as a dev, because it means that my cutesy 3D platformer will be shot down as well once it hits GL, just because I can work faster, better and for less money than any of guys at Valve can.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          So…. is it being blocked because Valve don’t like Polish devs, or because they are envious of these particular devs’ originality? I’m losing track here…

    • aldo_14 says:

      I think this is probably the most ludicrous argument I’ve ever read, and I’ve read quite a few. Aside from the myriad of Polish developers – already pointed out – on Steam, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of this making ‘millions’.

      • darkhog says:

        Oh, but it will be making millions. Just like GTA, Bully, Manhunt, Doom before – it’ll make millions on just controversy alone. Being or not on Steam won’t stop that. All it means is that Valve won’t get percentage of the sales.

        • RobF says:

          Well, most “look at me” games tend to sink without a trace so… I’m not sure this really holds. Historically, it’s taken more than a little bit of shock and news for a massive multimillion seller to come. Generally. As a rule. Etc…

          And really, let’s assume this fantasy is true and the game goes on to make millions from the assumedly millions of people waiting in line to play a game where you execute passers by or whatever it is you’re supposed to do in this, let’s just assume that’s true… do you have any idea of just how much money Valve pull in per day? I don’t because with the amount of money that goes through trading and cards and the store, it’ll be in daily numbers I can’t conceive of. There’s a slew of microtransactions going on every second. It’s boggling. And sales? Man, I’ve seen sales numbers of well performing games and man, y’know? A fair percentage of each of those? A man could buy a golden horse a day.

          They can afford to be picky. They can afford to be picky about good amazing non controversial blockbusters if they really want to be. They won’t miss the scrapings from this one, that’s for sure. Fantasy version where it’s a massive success or the more likely scenario where it disappears due to no fucks being duly given about it. They can let it pass without even thinking about it if they wanted to. I think they have thought about this though, right?

        • Philomelle says:

          It took two years and four separate platforms for Bully to hit the 1.5 million mark, while Manhunt never had more than a cult following; the hype surrounding it is about a hundred times greater than the game’s actual commercial success. Doom didn’t actually generate any controversy until 6 years after its release, while GTA didn’t face any controversy until the third title (which generated controversy because it sold so well, not the other way around). So really, all your examples are pretty faulty.

          • Nogo says:

            I’ve got a feeling their customers aren’t the software buying type either.

    • Jinoru says:

      Ironic. A number of their employees are polish and live in Poland.

    • rabbit says:

      I …. for a good 30 seconds, I believed/wanted to believe that your comments were meant as a joke.

      To the guy

    • Coldyham says:

      If this isn’t self aware satire or trolling, what are you doing with your life?

  18. vlonk says:

    The law of free speech is probably – from a global perspective of the western world – the least scrutinized in the US. Yet even they have some exceptions. This murder-simulator might just be “obscene” in the legal sense. It will share the same fate as “crushing” videos and other similar horrid stuff. Don’t google that stuff, I almost cried when somebody explained to me what the hell that is.
    Hatred will probably be forbidden by german lawmakers before it even gets into beta. I am not talking about “legal age” sale restrictions, I mean a full-out ban of sales, advertisement and ownership. Plenty of other european countries will probably do the same. Digital distribution will probably safe this special snowflake by circumventing laws.
    Good take on the topic by RPS by pointing out the inconsistency with Manhunt and other similar games on the very same shop!

    • drewski says:

      The “law of free speech” just prevents the US government from restricting speech outside of a few particular ways.

      Anyone else in the “western world” and literally every single private company in the US can prevent, restrict, censor or change speech in any way they wish without the law giving a toss.

      • vlonk says:

        This is not correct. It applies to all walks of life, including for instance commercial speech and what people say to each other in public.
        If I where to call you a nerfherder and gentleman you could drag me to court over this.

        Regarding the actions of Valve, it is not that easy. The question here is if Steam is such an overarching behemoth of a digital sales market that people could sue themselves onto it because of them having almost a monopoly. If you where to see them as a monopolist this – depending on your countries regulation – gives the game developer at least a chance to sue. The defense of Valve would then be to state that this denied software is breaking the law because it is obscene and instigating people to murder. The developer in turn would defend that their game is not even finished yet and they just made a shocking trailer. The game itself will be different. Also other similar games are on the plattform, the denial is arbitrary and hurts their sales significantly.

        And then the court will have to come to a decision and that will probably make one involved party sad.

        • derbefrier says:

          Nope he was right. You are pretty much wrong in everthing you said. Any lawsuit of what you described would be laughed out of court. Valve is a private company they can do what they want end of story. I can call you an idiot, you could technically sue me, the judge would laugh in your face and probably lecture you for being an idiot and wasting everyones time if it even got that far. You don’t seem to have firm grasp on how this works go do a little research and get back to us.

          • vlonk says:

            Why do you assume my assumptions are wrong? Really curious about that getting laughed out of courts. Did not happen to me yet. Maybe my english is failing me here a bit, my legal opinion is surely not.
            Maybe the ideas of infrastructure and distribution networks being handled by monopoly law is new to you? Here in Germany we have lawsuits for gaining access into distribution networks on a regular basis. Happens with magazine distributor networks, IT and Telco infrastructure, lately also access to semi-public databases. Results are mixed, there is no landslide in any direction. It is all just a matter of defining a market and defining illegal actions by the monopolist. Can you sue Mohjang to get your Minecraft server back into action with microtransactions? Maybe! If that is a good idea is a different matter. It is a high stakes game with a loooong waitingtime on the result, which makes it impracticle. One day somebody will sue Valve with exactly those arguments. I will wager money on that. In the meantime I watch the news what the EU regulators do to crush monopolies of Facebook, Google and Co.

        • Dawngreeter says:

          I wouldn’t wager a non-trivial amount of money on subject matter being something you have a full comprehension of.

        • airmikee says:

          As much as I love the First Amendment, (I would marry it if I could), it only prevents the government from restricting speech. Private companies and individuals are still able to restrict speech all they like, as long as it’s done evenly and uniformly. Go into any store and scream your head off about anything in particular, ignore their commands to stop and leave under the guise of your ability to speak freely, and then wait for the cops to arrest you. Legally, your free speech rights were never curtailed at any time, as you were on private property. You probably couldn’t even get away with that kind of yelling in a public place, after a while you’d probably get ticketed for disturbing the peace, and eventually arrested trespassing if you didn’t stop disturbing the peace. RPS can delete any one or all of our comments at any time, and just like the disclaimer they post says, it wouldn’t be affecting your free speech at all.

          If you’re American, and you think otherwise, I strongly urge you to study up on the First Amendment. I’ll even go so far as to say you should google up ‘Ken White of Popehat and Marc Randazza of The Legal Satyricon’ and read the years and years worth of stories that they have posted online, usually born from their legal expertise on the First Amendment due to years as First Amendment trial lawyers.

  19. Oakreef says:

    I don’t like this game and if I was running a store I probably wouldn’t want to sell it either. But yeah I agree that it’s pretty inconsistent for Valve to not stock this but continue to sell Postal 1, which this game basically seems to be a 3D version of.

    • airmikee says:

      The difference is that makers of Postal, Running with Scissors, hasn’t been tied to far right extreme hate groups. Neo-Nazi’s make a video game called ‘Hatred’ and suddenly America wants to protect the free speech rights of Polish game developers? What the fudge is wrong with this world?

  20. Horg says:

    I think this is down to Green Light being Valves indi publishing arm, while everything else you’ve listed as a murder simulator was published by a 3rd party and distributed on Steam. From a legal perspective, Green Light will probably give Valve more responsibility for the content than simply acting as a store front for the majority of Steam titles. I can understand why they would curate Green Light to a different standard if this turns out to be the case.

    • Jinoru says:

      Greenlight is going to be phased out in a few years. I’m not sure what the exact plan is but Gabe said very early last year they would like to make steam a free marketplace where publishers and devs would curate their own storefronts in Steam. That would make it so there would be an adult or edgy section of Steam as well as other places for the games currently accepted.

      • darkhog says:

        Multiply those “few years” by like 300 to account for valve time.

  21. Yachmenev says:

    RPS says “fuck that” to the game, and Valve says “fuck that” to the game, is the issue really more complicated then that? You can set up rules that you think cover everything, but you will always encounter situations where you will just have to go with your gut feeling.

    That some questionable products are sold on Steam shouldn’t have to mean that they should sell everything.

    Most people that have heard about the game Hatred have reacted against it. Some people have reacted against Hotline Miami. The former is not sold, the latter is sold. If we want to discuss why Valve doesn’t sell one of the game but the other, we have to start with the discussion why we look at the games differently. I don’t think that RPS can ask things from Valve that they can’t stand for themselves, even if Valve is bigger.

  22. Monggerel says:

    Well that looks,

  23. derbefrier says:

    Regardless of how you feel about the game its valves store they can do what they want. These developers are getting exactly what they wanted, controversy, so I don’t feel sorry for them in the slightest. Now they can act like they are over comming some adversaty, some people will applaud them for it, some will be disgusted, and most won’t really care and 6 months from now most of us will be saying “hatred? What game was that?”

  24. Phier says:

    So I watched the trailer and yes, its literally a mass murderer simulator and yea Valve really had to pull the plug as a company as the flak they would get for it wouldn’t be worth whatever money was made off it.

    Viral marketing achievement unlocked and Tempest in a Teapot unlocked.

    • splorp says:

      Absolutely – if you want to make something wildly popular then ban it!

    • darkhog says:

      Phier, don’t forget about Streissand Effect achievement!

  25. Al Bobo says:

    If it has good game mechanics, I’ll play it.

    • Niko says:

      If it has good game mechanics, but all the characters are cubes, will you play? If they are ponies? Or three-eyed alien creatures?

      • Al Bobo says:

        Sure. I have several cube and alien games. Not any games starring ponies, though. Anyway, good shooter is good shooter no matter what kind monsters or fluffy bunnies you are shooting. If that game turns out to be bad, I won’t be buying it.

        • darkhog says:

          Man, now I want isometric shooter where you kill colorful fluffy bipedal bunnies on a cartoonish landscape (with gore). Thanks for putting that image in my mind!

  26. Neutrino says:

    “Someone has different values to me. Ban it and kill it with fire!!!”

    Am I doing it right?

  27. Scumbag says:

    Just watched the trailer. Just looks like some 15 year old black metal fan’s livejournal fantasies. If any of the devs are over 20 I’d be ashamed to exist.

    • asmodemus says:

      I object to the denigration of Black Metal fans on the grounds that we’d love this kind of rubbish. Now, if we were talking about a game with representations of cultural re-appropriation via the burning of empty (and architecturally insignificant) churches that were deliberately erected on sacred sites to crush indigenous religion and cultures… well now you might have a game that a certain section of Black Metal fans could get behind :P Failing that, I’m sure that our interests in quality gaming would put us much more in the wheel house of Torment or X-Com (modern or original) than what looks to be pure unadulterated junk. Now, if you were to say Pantera fans or *shudder* One Direction fans…. well I’d heartily agree that they’d probably love this soulless trash!

      • Scumbag says:

        As someone who has had interest in Black Metal for about 16 years I’m standing by my initial statement. The “livejournal” and “15” points have as much weight as “Black Metal” in that.

      • pepperfez says:

        Indeed, metal fans were recently attacked by some of the same chucklefucks hyping this game for being overly inclusive.

    • alright says:

      that’s about it

  28. HisDivineOrder says:

    Well, any negative impact from not being on Steam just got undone by the fact it was one of the few games these days that Valve actually declined.

    This will make them something of a known quantity and people will buy it just to show “the industry” that they don’t appreciate feeling like they’re censored/limited.

    Eh. The game doesn’t look like my cup of tea, but I imagine the reason Valve is doing this is because they don’t want a Target/Kmart AU-style fiasco happening around their new holiday sale (this week if reports are to be believed).

    And so they take it down. They’ll probably revisit the issue around the time the game is ready for full release and there isn’t a holiday sale that week.

  29. Granath says:

    This is simple. The amount of projected sales won’t be worth Valve’s time to deal with the inevitable massive PR backlash they would get for publishing this. It’s a very simple equation and that’s their decision. They don’t have to publish all games.

    If this were the 1980s, does anyone remember a mainstream outlet carrying “Custer’s Revenge”? You couldn’t buy that at your local KMart or Sears store because it wasn’t worth their time to carry it. Too much BS, too little money. This is no different.

    • zapatapon says:

      I was going to say this but you beat me to the punch. I don’t know what the big debate is, the equation seems very simple: Valve is making a decision made on purely business considerations. They will not curate anything up until the point where they feel that some game will hurt them economically or PR-wise. Manhunt, Hotline Miami are controversial games but for Manhunt, the controversy happened and died before it was available on steam and for Hotline Miami, the game was successful and did not generate significant backlash, therefore both where good business decisions. This game on the other hand has clearly all red flags raised for a massive PR shitstorm ripe to explode, in the middle of which Valve would find themselves, so at face value it also appears like a rational business decision.

      One could ponder whether the backlash of the game’s supporters crying “ooooh censorship” will generate an opposite PR problem of even greater magnitude, but I honestly doubt that.

  30. Irishjohn says:

    I can see the issue but the article feels a little all over the place. Ultimately Steam doesn’t owe us anything. Yes, it controls the majority of the marketplace, but we as consumers essentially allow for that. They have the right t decide what not to publish and I support that right. Steam can’t stop me from getting a game through a different platform and I have no interest in ever adopting an Apple-like PC platform that Steam can control.

    Hatred would seem to me to be a bigger issue than Manhunt, because the game is just so ridiculously egregious without that Rockstar veneer of messing with the morality of its audience. Then again, I’m not sure why Manhunt gets a pass and Hatred doesn’t; I’ll just say that Hatred seems oddly in favour of promoting violence, and when your only response to such an accusation is “chill out, it’s a game”, well I’m sorry but we’ve moved beyond that. Or at least, we are moving beyond that. I would be fully in favour of Steam dropping Manhunt and, particularly, the Postal games. However their failure to do so in no way legitimizes (or frankly, even complicates) the issue of whether or not to tacitly promote this horrible, horrible game through inclusion in the Steam storefront.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      If the rest of the games aren’t “in favour of promoting violence”, why are so many of them based on violence?

  31. Umberto Bongo says:

    ‘Right now, on Steam, you can buy a copy of Rockstar’s infamous murder simulator, Manhunt. And indeed civilian murder-fests Hotline Miamis 1 and 2, and Postals 1 and 2. Let alone the hyper-realistic killing that takes place in everything from COD: Advanced Warfare to Medal Of Honor’

    This is meant to be ironic, isn’t it?

  32. Laurentius says:

    “We didn’t post the Hatred trailer because, well, fuck that. It’s hideous, and we’re a small-scale, independently owned gaming site that curates what we want to appear on our pages. But then, we’re not yet a gaming site with a monopoly (by 2018, that should be sorted). (Plus the hypocrisy of posting the trailer in order to tell people how awful it is that it exists seemed a little much.)”

    Really ? How then every freaking Ubisoft trailer ( and tbh every damn AAA trailer) sooner or later is posted on RPS ?

    • illuminerdi says:

      You seem to have missed the part about how they “curate” their content.

      In other words, RPS can decide, arbitrarily, whether or not to post something solely because they want to or not. They do not feel they’re under any obligation to post anything regardless of popularity, and if they feel something should not be posted (such as the Hatred trailer) they will refuse to post it. End of story.

      • Laurentius says:

        I meant that second part but still it sounds hilarious in context with previous one so I quoted it all. RPS constatntly posts Ubisoft trailers and then comments how much garbage they are and that goes with the rest of AAA trailers, just look recent Frontier:Dangerous trailer, or Dying light trailers etc. Anyway I challange anyone to find trailer of an AAA game that has also PC version from last 4 years then hasn’t been posted on RPS.

    • iainl says:

      Not every Ubisoft trailer gets posted. They regularly comment on this fact when the link the odd one they do bother with. There’s hundreds of the things that get ignored, because the site isn’t All Ubisoft, All The Time.

    • airmikee says:

      Last posted Ubi trailer:
      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      Care to point out where they said the trailer was hideous and not worth watching?

      Another Ubi trailer:
      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      Again, can you point out where they describe the trailer as hideous to the point of unwatchability?

      Another Ubi trailer:
      link to rockpapershotgun.com
      Figured out the pattern yet?

      They post Ubi trailers, but rarely (if ever) say the trailer isn’t worth watching. They didn’t post Hatred’s trailer, because they think it isn’t worth watching. Since there is nothing preventing you from finding the trailer and watching it on your own, what it is it that you expect of RPS here? To post things they don’t like in order to appease you?

  33. Stupoider says:

    Greenlight is stocked with some of the worst games I have ever seen on an online marketplace. The fact that Valve aren’t going to allow an actual game on their, yet are happy to wave through waves and waves of shovelware, just reflects poorly on Valve anyway.

    • iainl says:

      The whole point of Greenlight is that Valve don’t have time to look at everything indies would like to sell. That sometimes things bubble up the votes to the point where they look at them and issue a “nope, we won’t be selling that, thank you very much” instead of either a “yes devs, you can now move ahead with submitting the game” or letting it sit in limbo, is a good thing, surely?

      I mean, in an ideal world it would be great to have Valve big enough for Greenlight to not exist, but hey.

  34. illuminerdi says:

    I’m not exactly pro-censorship, but it seems hypocritical for people to get up in arms about this when Steam has long had rules that censor *other* forms of content. There are no pornographic games on Steam, now are there? There ARE games that feature sex, but there is an upper limit to how far a game can go before it crosses “the line” and is considered pornography and is not suitable for Steam.

    Why is it so shocking that this same paradigm exists for violence? Clearly the bar is set much *higher* for violence before a game crosses “the line”, but nobody at Valve ever said that it didn’t exist, Hatred might just have the (dubious) honor of being the first game to finally be TOO violent for Steam. Congratulations?

    Also I don’t know why anyone really cares about this game; an isometric game where you mow down everyone in sight for no reason came out almost two decades ago: Postal 1. It wasn’t very good back then, and I doubt this will be much better. You might giggle for a few minutes but eventually the “novelty” of being a mass murderer wears off and you’re left with a mediocre game, wondering what you ever saw in it in the first place.

  35. pipman3000 says:

    game looks like shit and the only reason people are defending it is because they’re the same moron ideologues who threw shitfit when amazon removed rapelay from their store or when reddit closed down a bunch of childporn subreddits

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      You’re comparing child porn to simulated violence? I’m going to be honest here, your morals sound fucked up.

      • pepperfez says:

        Not that commenter’s morals; many of the same people hyperventilating about “censorship” here were also hyperventilating about “censorship” on Reddit, because they think that nothing should ever be prohibited from being published anywhere.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Okay, if you say so. Pretty sure I haven’t seen anyone here defending child porn on Reddit.

          • rabbit says:

            I get what you’re saying but I think you’re being difficult on purpose. You know full well what he’s saying.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I’m being difficult because I’m tired of the stupid, trollish rhetoric people trot out around here to support their side of the argument.

          • xao says:

            You mean like calling people’s morals ‘fucked up’?

          • rabbit says:

            ding ding ding!

  36. 2late2die says:

    To what extent is Valve’s curation of Steam acceptable?

    To any – it’s a private company. There’s really not much of a discussion to be had. This is not censorship, or some sort of monopolistic practice – it’s a private business deciding not to sell a certain product. You may disagree with their decision, but it’s a free country and it’s their right to make that decision.

    • Pop says:

      Exactly! I also don’t think there’s a need for Valve to specify what they will or won’t publish. Much better to allow it to judge things on a case by case basis.

  37. BooleanBob says:

    I think this is the right stance to take and I want to commend John for it. Hatred looks like a nasty game but Valve’s stance definitely makes me uneasy. I’d like them to clarify their criteria for publishing – what was the line crossed here – one of content, or public opinion?

  38. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    The first two Syndicate games are enough for me in the classicist senseless mass murder genre (at least they have slightly more to them than just edgy-murderporn). I also play strategy games but those little computer soldiers at least shake hands before the battles. Sometimes they even politely wait for their turn to shoot, and they rarely commit atrocities against civilians.

    People can vote with their wallets but I understand Steam cutting it because bad PR.
    The double standards violence debate starts a new circle though, not getting anywhere it didn’t go the last hundred times (Carmageddon etc.).

  39. Premium User Badge

    Wisq says:

    I was a bit bothered by this, considering how much pure crap Steam has been putting out lately — just look at Jim Sterling’s YouTube feed for a ton of examples, many of which really aren’t fit for sale. Why take a stand on this, yet not on any of that?

    But, I think I’m coming around to Steam’s side on this one. For starters, they can no longer be expected to curate everything, not at the scale they’ve decided they want to work at. So the rule now seems to be not “don’t be bad”, but “don’t reflect badly on us”. If Hatred had just kept a low profile, they might have made it through — but they got their wish, and they became a definitive modern shock-violence game, and word got around, and eventually got back to Valve.

    If you’re terrible and you draw sufficient attention to that, you start forcing people to make hard decisions about whether to cover/stock you. This is hardly the first time that becoming notorious has been a double-edged sword, and it won’t be the last.

  40. Seafort says:

    Postal series and Manhunt are on steam. What’s so different about Hatred that it gets banned from Steam?

    I voted Yes for Hatred as it’s still just a game at the end of the day. Is Steam not a store front just for selling games anymore? They are also a censorship body as well?

    This just screams double standards to me when you allow similar violent games on Steam and not others.

    Valve would never take Call of Duty off steam which allowed the player to gun down innocent civilians in a busy airport but an indie game that does the same is banned.

    • rabbit says:

      I understand that it’s difficult to make _laws_ and things based on it, but situations like this – steam acting on their own discretion – I think can be explained pretty easily. Yes, you could argue that Manhunt, GTA, Doom, whatever, are all games heavily featuring graphic violence against AI. The difference is in context (and, arguably, intent – but we won’t get into that) – for starters, the people that the player is rewarded in those games for killing are not innocents. Yes, I know there’s a lot of mowing down civilians in GTA, but when you compare the rewards for killing innocents against the rewards for exacting revenge on a murderous mob boss in a mission, it’s easy to see what is being encouraged. Even ignoring that, the killing of civilians is never the entire point of the exercise – yes, it’s very possible in GTA to do so but the _point_ of the game – what you are told to do and what you finish the game by doing is not killing civilians, it’s killing mob bosses or gangsters or dealers or whatever.

      I know that all of the points I’ve made are flawed and incomplete and could be argued against but I hope that anyone reading this comment can understand the points I’m making. GTA is of course a game which involves horrible, horrible things, but it’s not a game for which the sole purpose is seemingly to simulate columbine-esque massacres.

      AND – more importantly – the point I started this comment to say in fact – it’s important to take into context the environment in which the game was created. That’s what I initially meant by context – the context in which it was created, rather than the one in which the player character interacts with the AI. The fact that this game has been on most people’s radar for all of a couple of hours and already there are very clear links to far-right / fascist groups? You *can’t* ignore that. It might be hard to make laws out of that sort of thing which don’t end up infringing on the rights of innocent, well meaning people, but any person reading this comment / this article, will know full well that there is a VERY big difference between a product or piece of art made by a ‘neutral’ or centre leaning (at least as far as we know) entity and one made by people we know to be leaning far to the right.

  41. Soulstrider says:

    My opinions remains the same, I find the game poor taste and definitely not for me (although I confess I have some fascination in trying it), yes I can enjoy causing mindless destruction for fun in the silly GTA sandbox world, but I just can’t enjoy the dark and brutal way this game is.

    That said, I find completely within the devs right to make the game so I can’t really agree with some call for bans I keep hearing. As it is Valve’s right to not sell the game, even if their blackbox arbitrary “curation system” pisses me off to no end.

    It annoys me more the way they let buggy/incomplete/scammy games go to the store than selling this if they had decided to let it in.

  42. Chirez says:

    If we assume Valve’s decision was motivated by an actual reason, beyond this merely being another example of the long tradition of shock violence games, it seems most likely to me that it’s political.

    Not in the sense that it has anything to do with politicians, but I half expect the clarification to be something along the lines of ‘This game’s stated purpose is to support and validate the position of a poisonous minority in the gaming community. Valve refuses to support that goal.’

    I don’t think it has anything whatsoever to do with the content of the game, so much as the position of the developer. There are plenty of reasons to think that it’s not the place of a vendor to decide what is or is not politically acceptable, and I see this as equivalent to a store refusing to stock products manufactured by a company whose political position they disagree with.

    The difficulty lies in the question of whether or not it is better as a vendor to allow nasty people to use your platform as a soapbox in the name of free expression, or to deny that, and implicitly restrict the boundaries of discourse. Always in these situations, the acid test is to ask if your opinion would change were the people in question not those you find distasteful, but instead those you agree with.

    • Soulstrider says:

      ‘This game’s stated purpose is to support and validate the position of a poisonous minority in the gaming community. Valve refuses to support that goal.’

      How so? Genuinely curious, it’s a shock game but I don’t see anything different from the long line of shock stuff that pop up ever so often.

      • pepperfez says:

        The trailer came out at the height of #GoatGroper madness (I believe just after the mass-shooting threats in Utah?) and the developers said they were fighting against “political correctness” and art games.

        • Soulstrider says:

          Selling your shock game as politically incorrect is a old selling tactic. And it clearly had been in development for a while when the trailer was released. I highly doubt that this is anything else than another shock game in the long line of shock games, trying to be politically incorrect and edgy.

          • pepperfez says:

            You’re right, but I think “politically incorrect” has increasingly become synonymous with “hatefully reactionary.” E.g., the number of posts on the game’s forums requesting an Anita Sarkeesian skin and feminist-killing missions.

          • Niko says:

            There were some really curious comments on Hatred’s Greenlight page, though:
            link to imgur.com

            ED: And there’s at least 10 threads about Hatred right now on KiA, GeezerGlobe’s subreddit.

    • Razumen says:

      I thought Valve basically implicitly said that games like this would be available on Steam when they stated that they wanted to stop curating the storefront and allow developers/publishers to sell their products on their own storefronts. But now they’re seemingly doublebacking on that, and undermining the credibility of their own greenlight process. Valve wants to have their cake and eat it too.

  43. Tazer says:

    To everyone saying “This is a private company, and they can sell or not sell what they want”, I wholly agree, however, keep in mind that even today there are companies that people sue and force to sell the product they want. For example, look at the recent spate of lawsuits against mom and pop bakeries who don’t want to bake cakes for homosexual weddings. They’ve been told to do it with a smile, or shut the doors. Even in states where gay marriage is illegal. How is this any different? And if you say “discrimination”, well, the devs have a certain belief and/or attitude and they are also being discriminated against.

    By the way, I don’t care if gay people get married, I’m simply citing an example where people think it’s ok to butt into private businesses dealings because it aligns with their moral ideas. People want to have their cake and eat it too. <— lol

    • Soulstrider says:

      I think the difference here is that they can decide what to sell, but cannot discriminate who they sell them to.

    • iainl says:

      And if Valve went round insta-banning customer accounts on the grounds that they’d found evidence the owners were neo-nazis, then this would be relevant. They aren’t (unless said racists bring their racism to the service), so it isn’t.

    • airmikee says:

      Forcing cake makers to sell cakes to everyone equally is not the same thing as forcing a video game retailer to include video games created by people with ties to known right-wing fascist hate groups.

      To make your analogy fit, the government/public would force the bakery to offer ice cream cake, even if they don’t have the equipment or expertise to sell such cakes. The government and the public don’t even approach that level of requirement of their cake sellers, or any retailer.

      edit: Discriminating against discrimination is not the same thing as discrimination against someone for their skin color, religion, or orientation.

      What you suggest implies that assault laws discriminate against people that like to punch others, or murder laws discriminate against people that like to kill other people.

  44. Palimpsest says:

    Looks like it could be decent, but the premise seems to leave little room for any kind of mission structure or ‘campaign’, so my main concern is longevity. It would have been nice to see a more objective article from RPS on this by the way.

  45. Razumen says:

    I think it’s a bit silly for Valve to say things like, we don’t want to curate what goes on Steam, but we’re still going to decide whenever we want what doesn’t go on Steam-especially when the game itself, though in bad taste, is not doing anything illegal. This is why Greenlight exists, and they’re essentially saying Greenlight means shit-all when they disagree with it.

    • iainl says:

      Valve don’t want to curate in advance of Greenlight. But they demonstrably curate what passes Greenlight; it was observed from the very first batch that it isn’t purely the games with the most upvotes. To tell a developer that a title has had enough votes to come to the attention of the staff, but that they have declined to stock it in their store, strikes me as a better thing to do than just silently ignoring it while the developer goes through round after round of publicity encouraging people to vote for a hopeless cause.

      • Baines says:

        Valve changed how it handled Greenlight over time. From the first batch, people were questioning whether Valve was actually looking at the games that were being approved. That questioning increased with the batches that followed. I think most people stopped even bothering to ask the question after Valve started doing massive bulk approvals of the top voted titled.

        Developers, even those passing Greenlight, described getting high vote counts as a rubber stamp. It stood out on the rare occasions when a top vote game didn’t get approval, and even then that same game might see approval in the next batch.

        And there certainly doesn’t appear to be any oversight or critical eye from Valve based on some of the scams that Valve has approved.

    • pepperfez says:

      Why, I’m old enough to remember when Valve were criticized for letting any old shit on Steam.

      And all this Greenlight were fields, too.

  46. Foosnark says:

    I really think both RPS and Steam made a good decision here. If I ran a store, this would not be on my shelves. If I worked in a store where it was on the shelves, I would complain to the management. If I saw it in a store where I was a regular customer, I’d probably also express concern to the management, even though I basically never do that.

    At the same time, I recognize the developers’ right to make this garbage. But I think it’s a black mark on gaming.

  47. drvoke says:

    All the people who are scared of Steam taking over the PC gaming marketplace should rejoice; as long as there are popular games that aren’t on Steam, it won’t ever have a real monopoly. All your crying about Valve refusing to allow this game on Steam is misplaced. Get it on GOG or Desura or itch.io or wherever this game ends up and enjoy the choice that remains in the PC gaming marketplace.

  48. Faxanadu says:

    I’m against this action, but at the same time, I love it – MAKE THE CONTROVERSY RAIN! It just makes things so much more fun. If everyone accepted this, BAH, it’d be just a plain ol’ shooter. But now, it’s oh so much more. Where would we all be without the people who get offended? In a boring, grey world, that’s where.

    Thank God for morals and, whatever all that religious stuff is called.

  49. gbrading says:

    It’s a despicable game, but when we have games like Grand Theft Auto, Manhunt and Postal are on Steam, you have to wonder what the ethical guidelines Valve are following actually look like.

  50. Ooops says:

    I’ve watched the trailer and, while it’s obviously so very not the kind of game that I want to play, I didn’t see what was so ugly about it that it warrants a red stamp from Valve..

    There is a degree of aesthetic research into it. It’s not any more shocking than an average Tarantino movie. And it’s (regrettably) very much in today’s trend. I went to Paris a couple of months ago and ALL the boutique designer clothes shops’ windows were full of outfits that would look perfectly at home in a young neo-nazis meeting. It made me really uneasy, much more than this game, because at least HATRED presents itself as something controversial, while the clothes, ont he other hand, aim to represent the trend of today’s fashion, i.e. they’re supposed to make their way into the mainstream.