Yesterday, Hatred was removed from Steam Greenlight. Despite having more than 13,000 votes and being the seventh ranked game of 2,000+, the isometric killing spree simulator had its page removed and Valve told the developers, "based on what we see on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we’ll be taking it down."
Now it's back and developers Destructive Creations have posted what appears to be an apologetic email from Gabe Newell regarding the decision. That's below.
Since being reinstated, Hatred has risen to the number one spot on Greenlight, although the votes to visits ratio is now more evenly split than previously. Whatever the other results of the removal and readmission might be, Hatred is getting plenty of attention. And, yes, that includes this update on the situation.
Newell's apparent involvement comes in the form of an email pasted on Destructive Creations' Facebook page. It reads as follows:
Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.
Good luck with your game.
Does that mean the market gets what it wants, which seemed to be the purpose of Greenlight in the first place? I found the word "publish" odd in Valve's message to the developers yesterday, as I wouldn't think of Waterstones (other bookshop chains and smaller alternatives are available) as the publisher of Elie Wiesel's Night, which I bought from them yesterday.
It's entirely possible that the game will move through Greenlight but never go on sale anyhow, if Valve aren't happy to trade in the eventual content. Newell's apology may simply refer to the fact that it's too early to judge.
Or it could mean carte blanche for submissions. Whatever the case - and we'll try to find out - one consequence of this up-and-down situation has been that some Greenlight users now see a vote for Hatred a vote for freedom. It's a funny old world.