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Steam's new guidelines when it comes to what they will and will not make available on their storefront are a bit vague, but thanks to the recent removal of nearly 200 games, we're starting to get a clearer picture. These games all fall under the umbrella of what Steam calls "straight-up trolling," meaning the company's determined their purpose was little more than to get a rise out of folks.
With more developers taking advantage of Steam's loose policies when it comes to games publishing in recent years, the company decided to go the opposite direction of what was expected and basically opened the floodgates. Instead of creating a thorough "decency policy," we'll call it, and sticking to it, it instead decided to let just about anything onto the platform, with a notable exception for games that were deemed to be "straight-up trolling." That particular term was eventually clarified and, thanks to the removal of 179 games in recent days, we finally have an example of their new standards in practice.
The names of the banned games will likely give you a pretty good idea of what we're talking about. The folks over at PC Gamer have cherry-picked a handful of the titles, including Boobs Battleground, Dad's Co-Worker, X-Ray Hospital, Boobs Puzzle and MILF. Also axed were 32 games in the Achievement Hunter series and a handful of games that have the word "hentai" in the title. Those Achievement Hunter games were designed, as the name implies, to let players pad their virtual trophy shelves and their icons even sported letters that players could use to spell out various phrases in their profiles. You can imagine how creative folks got with that.
As noted above, Steam has these game's under the straight-up trolling category, which was further described as something "simply trying to rile people up with something we call 'a game-shaped object.'" The Steam blog further explained that these are crudely-made pieces of software that are "technically" games, but games that nearly all reasonable individuals would argue are not good. Examples of troll games were those that try to scam folks into giving up their private information, earn money through schemes or let developers use Steam keys in questionable manners. And then there are those that "are just trying to incite and sow discord."
Many argue that Steam is still being too loose with their efforts and causing even more problems for themselves, while the company holds that it doesn't feel it should be able to judge what should and should not be considered a "game," except in those cases where they feel a game is "trolling," apparently. We'll have to wait and see where things go from here.