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Valve's new Steam content filters have finally arrived

The news is notable for both consumers and devs, with Valve recently choosing to withhold certain 'adult' titles from the marketplace while it worked on these changes.Â

Chris Kerr, News Editor

September 6, 2018

2 Min Read

Valve has rolled out a new set of tools that give Steam users the ability to ignore individual developers, publishers, and curators, while also granting more control over the type of mature content they see. 

The news is notable for both consumers and devs, with Valve recently choosing to withhold certain 'adult' titles from the marketplace while it worked on these changes. 

So, what's different? Well, while it was already possible to avoid individual games or product types, such as VR or Early Access, the new changes mean people can now ignore entire swathes of titles by blocking a specific studio, publisher, or store curator.

Valve has also altered the way game tag filters work. Before now, users could list three tags they wanted to see less of, but Valve has now increased that total to 10. 

It has also made the tag filter more discerning, meaning the store now assumes users want to ignore any titles containing one of their selected tags in the 'most popular' bracket. 

Notably, the company has also implemented a third set of changes that grant more control over mature content. Steam already let people filter out titles with 'Frequent Violence/Gore' or 'Nudity/Sexual Content,' but now Valve has added two more options. 

The first is a general mature content filter that blocks any title containing, well, mature content -- be it violent or sexual. It's essentially an all-in-one solution. 

Secondly, Valve is now requiring developers of games that feature violent or sexual content to describe its specific nature (as shown in the screenshot below). The company hopes this will help players decide whether a game is something they'll be comfortable with. 

"We think the context of how content is presented is important and giving a developer a place to describe and explain what's in their game gives you even more information when browsing and considering a purchase," explained Valve in a blog post. 

"When you're looking at the store page of a game with mature content, we'll display that developer-written description to you. We're also displaying it on the interstitial page we show you if you ever follow a direct link from outside steam to a game that should be filtered for you."

Valve claims there's still "plenty of work to do," and admits some of these new features may need rethinking in the future as new kinds of content emerges. You can find out more about Valve's plans for Steam over on the Steam Blog.

About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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