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Steam Introduces Updated Filtering, Adult Only Games

Several months after announcing impending changes to its storefront, Valve this week implemented a number of changes to Steam to alter what players see and what they can opt to ignore.

First and foremost, the upcoming release list is being changed to “take into account the pre-release interest in a game — that is to say, data we gather through wishlists, pre-purchase, and a developer’s or publisher’s past titles.” Users will be able to see a customized list of upcoming titles generated based on the developers they follow, their wishlists, their play data, and more.

The raw unfiltered list will still be available for those who prefer it.

Secondly to this update are improved tools that users can take advantage of to ignore certain things that they do not want to see on the Steam store. In addition to it now being possible to ignore games by developer/publisher, users can ignore up to ten tags as well as set their filtering to ignore games with mature content, or allow mature content but block sexual content.

A second set of changes was focused on improving how you can ignore things you’re not interested in. In the past you’ve been able to ignore individual games or product types (like VR, or Early Access) you didn’t want to see again. But now we’ve added ways for you to also easily ignore individual developers, publishers, and curators.

Developers will now be required to contextualize the mature content in their games, if there is any, similar to how the ESRB collects data to determine ratings. Valve will simply collect that data and use it to allow gamers to filter out titles that they do not want to see.

Finally, Valve noted action taken against a number of developers publishing titles that fell under the trolling rules that Steam has in place, noting that the wide variety of games and publishers were actually a very small number of bad actors. In regards to the new requirements above, Valve will be going through the back catalog to ensure compliance with titles that are already on the Steam store.

Valve also detailed how it determines a “troll game” in vague wording, which we have quoted in its entirety below:

“Our review of something that may be “a troll game” is a deep assessment that actually begins with the developer. We investigate who this developer is, what they’ve done in the past, their behavior on Steam as a developer, as a customer, their banking information, developers they associate with, and more. All of this is done to answer the question “who are we partnering with and why do they want to sell this game?” We get as much context around the creation and creator of the game and then make an assessment. A trend we’re seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions. In the words of someone here in the office: “it really does seem like bad games are made by bad people.”

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