Valve confirmed in a statement that it won't be releasing Rape Day on Stream while saying the game "poses unknown costs and risks."
Rape Day is a game that challenged Valve's hands-off approach to what appears on and is sold through its gaming platform. According to the game's creators, Rape Day would allow players to "verbally harass, kill people, and rape women as you choose to progress the story" during a zombie apocalypse. The game quickly became notorious for its themes and promised content and caused an uproar from those who said it should be removed from Steam.
Following that controversy – though the controversy is unlikely to end here – Valve issued a statement about Rape Day and its decision to remove the game from the store.
"Over the past week you may have heard about a game called 'Rape Day' coming soon to Steam," Valve said in the statement. "Today we've decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation."
Valve then attributed the "unknown costs and risks" posted by Rape Day to its decision to pull the game from 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," Valve continued. "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."
Valve closed out its statement by saying it's willing to work with developers to find an audience but said Desk Plant chose content matter that made it difficult for Valve to help them with that.
"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."
This latest controversy involving Steam and Valve stems from the hands-off approach Valve committed to in 2018 when dealing with games that are sold on Steam.
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