Steam is rolling out a new filtering system to give users greater autonomy over what games come up in their search results.
The gaming platform hosts tens of thousands of PC titles for download and purchase, ranging from unfinished Early Access indie games to AAA blockbusters, and everything in between.
New changes include the ability to block content from individual developers and publishers, with a total of ten content tags available – with separate tags for ‘mature’ content and that which is explicitly sexual – that will be more effective at keeping out titles users don’t want to see.
The move comes several months after Valve’s contentious decision to effectively allow any game to remain on the Steam Store regardless of its content, though anything considered “illegal, or straight up trolling” could still see a ban from the platform.
Not our problem
Valve certainly doesn’t need to be scared of alienating users. Its Steam platform has proved a huge money-spinner, becoming the developer’s main priority ahead of, you know, shipping actual games themselves.
Valve CEO Gabe Newell has recently promised that making games was going to become more of a focus, after several years of prioritizing maintenance of the Steam platform. The company acquired Firewatch devs Campo Santo earlier in 2018, and seem to be looking ahead to making more of the AAA single-player experiences that it made its name on – though we've long given up hope of seeing Half-Life 3.
But for better or worse, Valve’s fortunes are tied to Steam, and the platform’s amoral stance continues to cause concern for a wide strata of its user base.