Valve says it will not distribute rape game due to "unknown costs and risks"

Valve says it will not distribute rape game due to "unknown costs and risks"

PC games giant Valve has said that it will not allow Rape Day to be sold on Steam.

In a post on the company's blog, Erik Johnson not only said that the controversial visual novel would not be distributed on its platform but went on to how this decision lines up with the open-platform policy that Valve announced in June 2018.

Johnson wrote that Valve's platform policy is reactive rather than pro-active, with the company deciding on a case-by-case depending on what is submitted to the store.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

What exactly these costs and risks are is unclear. 

News of the game's page going live with an April release date broke earlier in the week

Valve's open platform policy has been met with a mixed response. While many developers and publishers feel that the company is both damned if it does and damned if it doesn't, many believe that Steam has become a hostile platform to developers due to the sheer amount of content appearing.

This is one reason why many developers feel that Steam isn't doing enough to earn its 30 per cent revenue share, with our Store Panel at PC Connects London 2019 saying that game makers are now spending their ad dollars outside of Steam to drive consumers to the platform due to the sheer number of releases.

For context, over half of the total games on Steam were launched in the last two calendar years wrote at the start of 2018 that Valve needs to start curating the Steam platform due to the sheer number of releases

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.