After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think "Rape Day" poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won't be on Steam. The company after "significant fact-finding and discussion" will not be debuting "Rape Day" on Steam due to "unknown costs and risks".
The statement went on to say that the game's chosen content matter made it hard for Valve to keep it on the store. Valve issued a statement clarifying their decision to remove the game after previously approving it.
News of the game's existence spread online this week, and a Change.org petition asking Steam to remove the game received nearly 8,000 supporters.
"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", Valve's Erik Johnson wrote. If a game has generated sufficient controversy as to make it seem unpalatable to Valve, they can just pull it from sale. "You can verbally harass, kill people and rape women as you choose to progress the story", according to a description of the product.
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The game's developer, who goes by Desk Plant online, defended the game on its official website. While Rape Day was obviously pushing boundaries for the sake of shock value, developers still have little idea of what is actually allowed or not.
This is not the first time that a game on the Steam platform has sparked outrage. Johnson brought up the company's stance outlined in "Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?". We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers.
'As far as which locations the game will be available, I've removed my request to have it banned in a list of specific countries, ' the developer said at the beginning of March.
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Rape Day's Steam page before its removal featured some disturbing, graphic images. Valve said it would allow any game on Steam except for "things that we decide are illegal or straight up trolling".
The Popular Upcoming list on Steam is meant to give studios a way to advertise their title in the weeks before its release, utilising the vast reach of Valve's platform.
It's unlikely that UK Parliament would be able to place any direct restrictions on Valve - it is after all a privately-owned United States company - but Steam could be made subject to new restrictions on what sort of content it's legally able to sell in the UK.
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