If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

Valve decide not to allow Rape Day on Steam

Garbage day

There are limits, content-wise, to what Valve will allow to be sold on Steam. In a rare (if short) public statement, Valve announced that the visual novel Rape Day (previously covered here) will not ship on Steam. Still, they're not making any change to their policies, and took the opportunity to expound on that, briefly. Valve state that Rape Day "poses unknown costs and risks", making it unsuitable for Steam, but reiterate that their role regarding moderation is reactionary - people are free to list what they will, but Valve reserve final judgement on what can and cannot be sold.

While I'm not surprised that Rape Day has been pulled from the store, Valve's seemingly renewed commitment to their (almost) anything goes policy has caught me by surprise. I was honestly expecting the company to alter or clarify on rules, setting hard limits on what is or isn't allowed. Instead, they've doubled down on the vagaries of their current system. While Rape Day was obviously pushing boundaries for the sake of shock value, developers still have little idea of what is actually allowed or not. The game, deeply distasteful as it was, technically did not violate any rules as defined.

While broadly preferable to the dark ages of Steam where developers had little way to know whether they'd be able to sell on the store, the current system is still opaque to developers and customers. If a game has generated sufficient controversy as to make it seem unpalatable to Valve, they can just pull it from sale. While the concern over Rape Day was sincere, I fear this is a system ripe for abuse, and if the press can be manipulated into railing erroneously against something for long enough, I fear Valve will react as they have here. Clear rules would solve so many problems here.

You can see Valve's full statement here, along with their previous blog-post on "Who gets to be on the Steam store?" here.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Sign up today for access to more supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information

Comments

We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More News

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch