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Valve bans sexual violence game from Steam, but stops short of condemning it

Valve has ruled that an adult game about committing sexual assault against women will not launch on Steam due to the fact that it “poses unknown costs and risks”.

Alissa McAloon, Publisher

March 6, 2019

1 Min Read

Valve has put the kibosh on the Steam launch of an adult game that centers around committing violence and sexual assault to women amid a zombie apocalypse, saying that, after “significant fact-finding and discussion”, the game was ruled a bad fit for the platform due to the fact that it “poses unknown costs and risks”.

The store page for the game in question, a 3D visual novel called Rape Day, popped up on Steam last month and in more recent days ignited questions about Valve’s relaxed approach to deciding what content does and doesn’t belong on its platform.

For the most part, Valve says it’ll ok anything that isn’t “illegal or straight up trolling," but notes in today's statement on the matter that the decision to keep the game called Rape Day off of Steam “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,” reads that explanation. “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.”

About the Author(s)

Alissa McAloon

Publisher, GameDeveloper.com

As the Publisher of Game Developer, Alissa McAloon brings a decade of experience in the video game industry and media. When not working in the world of B2B game journalism, Alissa enjoys spending her time in the worlds of immersive sandbox games or dabbling in the occasional TTRPG.

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