It’s a new era for Steam—or so Valve says. So long as it’s not “illegal, or straight-up trolling,” Valve will allow any game on the service. It’s implemented new filtering tools to drive the point home and also ensure that there’s not heaping piles of porn lying around everywhere. However, in the past few weeks, Valve has actually removed more games than usual from Steam.
It’s never been unusual for Valve to remove games from Steam. If you use the unofficial Steam Tools utility to look at where the banhammer has fallen over the past year, you’ll notice a series of removal sprees. The most recent is notable due to its sheer volume. While previous months have seen Valve give the boot to anywhere between 20 and 70 games and/or DLC packs, it’s cast a whopping 179 into its patented abyss in the past few weeks. Why? Well, have a look at the titles of some of the games that were recently banned:
- Make Border Great Again!
- Big Dick
- Hentai: Exposed
- Hentai Sisters
- PUTIN, TRUMP, and XIN JINPING
- PUTIN, BOOBS, and TRUMP
- 31 different games with some variation on the title Achievement Hunter
- LOGAN vs KSI
You get the idea. If you were wondering what Valve meant by “straight-up trolling,” this is likely the answer.
So basically, Valve seems to have cleaned up a lot of obviously troll-y crud, as well as achievement spam and some sex games that presumably didn’t follow its new rules (or that didn’t make the cut for some other reason; that whole situation is still kind of unclear). You’ll note also that entire series got the boot in some cases, which is in line with Valve’s recent explanation of how it’s been investigating potential trolls: “A trend we’re seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions,” the company said in a blog post last month.
Criteria for being declared a troll, Valve added at the time, include “trying to rile people up” with barely-functional games, trying to scam people out of Steam inventory items, attempting to make money off “schemes that revolve around how we let developers use Steam keys,” and of course, the classic: “trying to incite and sow discord.”
Unless humanity collectively decides to shape up tomorrow and overthrow the systems that manipulate us and drive us to manipulate each other, this is probably not the last Steam ban wave we’ll see.