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After community pressure, Valve won't sell trash game Rape Day on Steam

The bad news: someone listed their trash rape fantasy game on Steam. The good news? Despite its much publicized hands-off approach to curation, Valve has decided not to sell Rape Day through the Steam store. Here's the software giant's statement in full. 

Over the past week you may have heard about a game called 'Rape Day' coming soon to Steam. 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.

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. 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.

Interestingly, Valve - who we reached out to for a statement but have not yet heard back - seems to want to make it very clear the decision was a business one, not based on moral disapproval of the game's subject matter. 

PC Gamer highlighted the title yesterday: a game that offered players the chance to "verbally harass, kill, and rape women as you choose to progress the story" and to become "the most dangerous rapist in town" had been submitted to Steam and was waiting for approval before it could be sold through the store. During this time Steam users could see the game, along with updates from its creator. Anyone can submit a game to Steam for a $100 fee, and last June Valve made the decision to take a hands-off approach to curating its store, as long as the games weren't illegal or "straight-up trolling."

As Valve made its decision on Rape Day, a petition on asking for Valve to refuse the game was rapidly gathering supporters. Cecilia Cosenza, who started the petition, told us that "I felt like this was something that was not only revolting, but something that needs to be addressed for the sake of the health of the people."

"I was so glad to hear Rape Day is a no-go," added Cosenza. "I hope that this prompts Valve Corporation/Steam to rethink their policies."

For some PC titles that won't make you feel spiritually and physically sick, check out our list of the best PC games.

Rachel Weber

Rachel Weber is the US Managing Editor of GamesRadar+ and lives in Brooklyn, New York. Rachel began working in games journalism in 2006, combing her love of video games with her passion for writing. Starting as a fresh-faced staff writer of Official PlayStation Magazine, she went on to cover the business side of the industry with, before joining Rolling Stone's ambitious - if short-lived - Glixel project in 2016. She returned to Future and joined GamesRadar+ in 2017, revitalizing the news coverage and building new processes and strategies for the US team.

Throughout her 15 years of experience, Rachel has interviewed celebrities about their gaming habits, chatted with PlayStation and Xbox bosses, written thousands of words of previews, reviews, and news, and appeared as an expert on BBC radio and TV. In the name of games journalism, she's also taken rap lessons, appeared on the streets of London as a zombie, tried her hand at sword-fighting, and taken part in more than one 24-hour gaming marathons. 

When she's not on duty for GamesRadar expect to see her hunting down the weirdest indie games on Steam, curling up with the latest horror novel, or binging the newest must-see crime documentary. You can find her at @therachelweber on Twitter.