A day after social media went after Valve for allowing a game called Rape Day on Steam, the platform issued a statement about the situation. The statement, which you can read below, is pretty brief and to the point, as the company has let fans know the game will not be released on their platform. It gives a brief explanation into the idea of Steam keeping a hands-off approach to allow developers to produce content without censorship, but didn’t go into the details of how a game that clearly had the word “rape” in the title managed to get onto the store unopposed or raising any red flags before the community brought it to their attention.
Over the past week you may have heard about a game called ‘Rape Day’ coming soon to Steam. Today we’ve decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation.
Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary—we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct. We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam.
We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.
How this will affect games being added to the store moving forward is unknown at this time, but after the amount of backlash online, we can’t imagine Valve or Steam will just go back to business as usual without finding a way to now check a game’s content once it’s been loaded to the platform.