Valve Pulls Controversial Game Hatred from Greenlight - Update

roseofbattle

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Valve Pulls Controversial Game Hatred from Greenlight - Update

The controversial game Hatred will not be available for purchase on Steam.

Update: Hatred is back on Steam. Hatred developer Destructive Creations purported Valve co-founder Gabe Newell emailed Jarosław Zieliński to apologize. Destructive Creations posted a copy of what it claims is an email from Newell on the developer's Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/destructivecreationsteam/photos/a.367406143426716.1073741828.311540585679939/387264774774186/?type=1&permPage=1], and it reads:

"Hi, Jaroslaw.

"Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers.

"Good luck with your game.

Gabe"
Original story: Yesterday developer Destructive Creations launched a Steam Greenlight campaign for its game, Hatred. Greenlight [http://escapistmagazine.com/tag/view/valve%20software] shortly after it landed on Steam.

Developers can post information about their games on Steam Greenlight for the community to vote on whether they would like to see those games on Steam. When Hatred first arrived on Greenlight, Destructive Creations director Jarosław Zieliński wrote on the company's website, "Don't just wait, tell your friends about it, and let their friends tell their friends, so the Apocalypse will spread everywhere!"

However, Valve removed the game from Greenlight not long after it arrived. In an interview with Polygon, Doug Lombardi, Valve's VP of marketing, said, "Based on what we've seen on Greenlight, we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we'll be taking it down."

Destructive Creations announced Hatred in October [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV3PhvCf_Jg], marketing the game as one with a "disturbing atmosphere of mass killing, where player [sic] takes the role of a cold blood antagonist, who is full of hatred for humanity... Gather equipment of the dead 'human shields' to spread Armageddon upon society."

Having Hatred removed from Steam hasn't shaken Destructive Creations. The company posted a screenshot of the game's stats on Steam Greenlight just after it was banned. At that time, it had reached the seventh highest rank in Greenlight with 13,000 votes of support.

"Even though games like Manhunt or Postal are still available on Steam we of course fully respect Valve's decision, as they have right to do so," the company stated. It plans to release Hatred in the second quarter of 2015.

Destructive Creations is, of course, free to sell its game elsewhere, but Valve's Steam service has a near-monopoly on the PC gaming market.

Source: Polygon [http://www.destructivecreations.pl/]


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roseofbattle

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I've no love for the game, from the sounds of it, the game is Postal 2 without anything that actually gave Postal 2 merit. I do find it a tad worrying that Valve is refusing to host it, since they've nearly got a monopoly in regards to digital distribution, and we all know how important Steam is to a game based on indie dev after indie dev after indie dev. I'm not surprised though. Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads, and I certainly wouldn't want to sell something along the likes of Ethnic Cleansing in my place of business, so I can't fault Valve for that either.
 

Devin Barker

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Glad steam pulled it. Content aside the game just looks like crap. This is a game that is going to be sold on buzz alone there is nothing about this game that good/fun (imo)
 

rembrandtqeinstein

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I'm going to buy 4 copies, and also start smoking.

Because with all of the shitty things that steam sells they decide to pulling this one not due to quality concerns but due to squeamishness is utter bullshit.

I'm sick of people being "offended" and acting like that gives them the right to demand others change their behavior.
 

blackdwarf

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Devin Barker said:
Glad steam pulled it. Content aside the game just looks like crap. This is a game that is going to be sold on buzz alone there is nothing about this game that good/fun (imo)
But even then, should Steam decide which game should be sold and which not? and if that is true, why aren't games getting pulled that a obviously crap and on early access just to make a quick buck? Like the games that Sterling showed on his Youtube channel and on some videos on this site.

I find it a dumb game, but I find it incredibly lazy how Steam decided to just take the game away from its service. I do believe that they should have every right to not sell a game if they don't want it, but please be consistent about it. Saying this game is not okay because of its content, but ignoring similar games like Postal and GTA, just shows to more it has more to do with PR than the actual content of the game.
 

Jeremy Dawkins

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MarsAtlas said:
I've no love for the game, from the sounds of it, the game is Postal 2 without anything that actually gave Postal 2 merit. I do find it a tad worrying that Valve is refusing to host it, since they've nearly got a monopoly in regards to digital distribution, and we all know how important Steam is to a game based on indie dev after indie dev after indie dev. I'm not surprised though. Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads, and I certainly wouldn't want to sell something along the likes of Ethnic Cleansing in my place of business, so I can't fault Valve for that either.
It's not being made by Skinheads/ neo-nazis or anything like that, those are just rumors by uninformed/hasty game journalist sites.

Here is what TotalBiscuit has to say on this matter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFb06S6F0gA

I for one don't care for this kind of game, but Steam really should clarify what rules, if any they broke, or why they took it off Greenlight.
 

Devin Barker

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blackdwarf said:
Devin Barker said:
Glad steam pulled it. Content aside the game just looks like crap. This is a game that is going to be sold on buzz alone there is nothing about this game that good/fun (imo)
But even then, should Steam decide which game should be sold and which not? and if that is true, why aren't games getting pulled that a obviously crap and on early access just to make a quick buck? Like the games that Sterling showed on his Youtube channel and on some videos on this site.

I find it a dumb game, but I find it incredibly lazy how Steam decided to just take the game away from its service. I do believe that they should have every right to not sell a game if they don't want it, but please be consistent about it. Saying this game is not okay because of its content, but ignoring similar games like Postal and GTA, just shows to more it has more to do with PR than the actual content of the game.
... But they didnt say that... no where in that quote do they say anything about content. They pulled it for reasons, target pulled gta... for reasons... these are private companies that can do what they want. The products they sell reflect them in a way (thats why target doesnt sell dildos either thats just not what they do) steam doesn't want to have this game they dont need to. They have actually pulled a few things from greenlight lately in an effort to quality control, are things that suck still gonna make it through... sure.. but as long as they are making an effort to clean out shitty/offensive/ or just games they dont like... im all for it... there are other services that can/will carry these games. Sure those services are not the biggest but thats not steams fault. I have several steam like clients on my machine at home because steam does not have everything this game will find its audience if the audience wants it steam said no... cry about it...
 

Something Amyss

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MarsAtlas said:
I'm not surprised though. Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads, and I certainly wouldn't want to sell something along the likes of Ethnic Cleansing in my place of business, so I can't fault Valve for that either.
Jim Sterling made the point that quite a few of the people complaining were the same ones who responded to his quality control videos by saying "Valve is a private company and can do what it wants."

I really need a list of exceptions. Like, I'd think it was games that are protected, because of GTA and Hatred, but apparently this isn't standard, because ostensibly quality control is usually Valve's prerogative and such.

blackdwarf said:
But even then, should Steam decide which game should be sold and which not?
By definition, yes, as it's their store front. And yes, to your other point, the crap on their storefront should be addressed. But here's the thing. It's not our decision. We can protest, complain, boycott (unless we're boycotting GTA or Hatred, apparently, because that's the bad kind of boycott....the one that impacts me!), we can do sit-ins, love-ins, PSAs, hold our breath until we turn blue, or stamp our feet. But in the end, it's always been Valve's choice what games to include.

Because it's their shop.

If Gabe and company decided tomorrow they only wanted to stock FPS, or dating sims, or even games approved personally by Anita Sarkeesian, that's their right. This isn't a slippery slope, as the store has always been the final arbiter of its stock.

rembrandtqeinstein said:
I'm sick of people being "offended" and acting like that gives them the right to demand others change their behavior.
So sick that whther or not this has actually happened is irrelevant, it seems.
 

EbonBehelit

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Like Target (with GTA V), Steam as a company has the right to refuse to display or sell a product for whatever reasons they see fit, even if I/we disagree.

I'm not in the target audience for Hatred. Hell, even watching the trailer made me more than a little uncomfortable - and yet, I get the distinct impression that Hatred has no intention of being a character analysis, nor to have any deep meaning behind it. No, I think Hatred is just a game about killing people for fun, which brings up an interesting thought:

What merit does a game literally about massacring innocent people have? Does it need to exist? At what point does Freedom of Expression go too far?
 

prismaticcrow

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The problem with the game isn't even about killing innocent people, really.

Its the fact that the game is deliberately aiming for a tone and atmosphere similar to that of a mass-shooting, and here in a America, that's a pretty damn big deal. GTA and Postal kill innocents all the time, but the tone is different, and often comical. Those games make the killing less impactful. It's quick, dirty, and done (usually). GTA is more like a criminal drama, than a killing game, and Postal 2 is definitely going for goofball comedy.

Hatred, on the other hand, strives purely to place us in the head-space of a school-shooter. Interesting? Perhaps. But can you really blame Steam for shying away from this? This is like someone trying to put up a rape-simulaton game, and Steam taking it down. It's completely justified. Steam doesn't want to be associated with rapists any more than it does school-shooters. Especially not in this country.

Personally, the game doesn't offend me much, but Steam is a business, and it's bad business to associate yourself with this kind of material.

On the matter of selling incomplete trash indie games, however; that is a different story.
 

Doom972

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I don't really care about this game, but this move is odd. There are games which are just as violent and sadistic (if not more) on Steam. If Valve is doing some quality control, how come they haven't pulled out many of those useless and broken unfinished games we keep seeing?
If Steam are going to be like Apple's app store, I'll probably start getting my games elsewhere.
 

roseofbattle

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Jeremy Dawkins said:
I for one don't care for this kind of game, but Steam really should clarify what rules, if any they broke, or why they took it off Greenlight.
Well, in the article Valve says:

"Based on what we've seen on Greenlight, we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we'll be taking it down."
Could be content in the game, could be activity on the Greenlight page, could be a combination of both. Like I said, it'll attract a lot of negative attention, so its likely just a business move on Valve's behalf. Everything I've heard about the game so far indicates that it'll be garbage though, existing merely to contrast the, according to Destructive Creations' CEO, to contrast the increased visibility for game with little or no violence in the indie scene, and nothing more. While games like Postal 2 and Super Columbine Massacre RPG had a lot of thought put into them, this seems to exist just to stick it to all the popular "walking simulators" like Gone Home and The Stanley Parable.
 

Schadrach

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MarsAtlas said:
Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads
Was there anything to actually back that other than them having liked a Facebook page?
 

Entitled

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MarsAtlas said:
I do find it a tad worrying that Valve is refusing to host it, since they've nearly got a monopoly in regards to digital distribution
No, they don't, they have a really good brand image, which puts extra attention on games that they choose to sell, but they have zero means to make an independent website less accessible.

Steam has a monopoly on the "third party digital publishing network" sector, because it would be really expensive for another company to set up an equally vast store lineup and list of business contacts. But that's not the same thing as a monopoly over "digital distribution". The entire Internet is digital distribution.

This is not the small town's only bookstore refusing to sell a particular book, this is a small town having infinite access to all books ever, and one bookstore with a popular name deciding to keep it's own wholesome identity.


blackdwarf said:
I do believe that they should have every right to not sell a game if they don't want it, but please be consistent about it. Saying this game is not okay because of its content, but ignoring similar games like Postal and GTA, just shows to more it has more to do with PR than the actual content of the game.
Well, there is your consistency: they are consistently refusing to sell games that bring more bad PR than it is worth it.
 

roseofbattle

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Schadrach said:
MarsAtlas said:
Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads
Was there anything to actually back that other than them having liked a Facebook page?
Apparently some questionable posts on other social media outlets, but nothing so far as joining a neo-nazi party or anything like that. Questionable, and there's plenty of people willing to give the benefit of the doubt (I'm not, simply because in my experience the "I'm not racist" defense is used overwhelmingly by rather extreme racists, but thats neither here nor there) just having your brand associated with it can be bad for business. Whether there's any merit to it doesn't really matter right now. Once the game is released, it may be a different story, but until then, its probably the best thing to do as a business.
 

Robot-Jesus

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Entitled said:
Well, there is your consistency: they are consistently refusing to sell games that bring more bad PR than it is worth it.
It's a bad business practice to leave this to a case by case basis. Often games manufacturers have to sink in a lot of work before a game is in a position to be judged. If the business model is to use steam for distribution you can have a lot of people out many man-hours to what they might feel is now a nonviable prospect. This is bad for steam as well because it could make some developers leery of using them as a primary distribution model. It also opens them up for attacks on controversial games, that would have less bite if there were set criteria on what will be tolerated and what will not.
 

Albino Boo

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On the day that the Taliban murder at least 100 school children in Pakistan, its not a great surprise that this game got taken down. Its not worth the risk for less than $10000 it would make them.

Schadrach said:
MarsAtlas said:
Apparently the game is being developed by skinheads
Was there anything to actually back that other than them having liked a Facebook page?
Here is the full story, make of it what you will.

http://fucknovideogames.tumblr.com/post/100204212288/hatred-is-a-genocide-simulator-developed-by
 

Erttheking

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Isn't that the point of greenlight? To see if a game can get enough approval to make it onto Steam? If it can't get enough approval it doesn't make it on. This isn't anything new, this is just the Greenlight process at work. And Hatred didn't pass the process. It's not like steam started selling Hatred and then backpeddled, it was only on Greenlight.
 

lancar

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They got the exposure they wanted, especially now that news outlets are writing about it. You can't really wish for better advertisement as nobody's really saying that the game is bad, just "banned" from steam (omg, c3nsorsh1p!!1!!!1!!eleven!111!!one)

Seriously, though, I couldn't care less about this game. Like what Jim said in his youtube video about the matter, I wish Valve would remove some more offensive stinkers from their library instead (or: in addition). Games that're not only shit, but also actively scam people out of their money on false promises.
 

shirkbot

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Entitled said:
MarsAtlas said:
I do find it a tad worrying that Valve is refusing to host it, since they've nearly got a monopoly in regards to digital distribution
No, they don't, they have a really good brand image, which puts extra attention on games that they choose to sell, but they have zero means to make an independent website less accessible.

Steam has a monopoly on the "third party digital publishing network" sector, because it would be really expensive for another company to set up an equally vast store lineup and list of business contacts. But that's not the same thing as a monopoly over "digital distribution". The entire Internet is digital distribution.

This is not the small town's only bookstore refusing to sell a particular book, this is a small town having infinite access to all books ever, and one bookstore with a popular name deciding to keep it's own wholesome identity.


blackdwarf said:
I do believe that they should have every right to not sell a game if they don't want it, but please be consistent about it. Saying this game is not okay because of its content, but ignoring similar games like Postal and GTA, just shows to more it has more to do with PR than the actual content of the game.
Well, there is your consistency: they are consistently refusing to sell games that bring more bad PR than it is worth it.
Except that pulling the game is generating even more bad PR for Valve because it makes them look like a bunch of hypocrites, or at least incredibly indecisive. They sell things like Manhunt 2 or the Postal games, which are just as bad as the game in question, without a second thought. While they have a right to decide what's in their store, the fact that they'll only exercise that right when someone outright threatens to kill Gabe Newell or they arbitrarily decide they don't like what they see isn't productive.

While it's true that Valve does not have a true monopoly, they do control enough of the PC market that being able to sell your game on Steam is often the difference between being able to pay the bills and not, especially since there is a fair contingent of people that will refuse to buy games elsewhere simply due to the inconvenience. Honestly, the closest analog is Amazon refusing to sell your book. Yeah, other places still sell it, but you're suddenly reaching 70% fewer potential customers because 1 store decided they didn't like you and/or your product.