In a previous post I wrote, I called out Valve for being silent amidst the Black Lives Matter movement. I touched on how by remaining silent, which is their right, they continue to condone the racism and hate that permeates not only their platform but the gaming community.
Valve takes action
Last week Indie devs started to request removal of their games from Steam in protest to Steam’s silence. Julian Glander posted a screenshot showing his message to Steam to remove his games from their service. I won’t even get into how weird it is that you have to request to remove your own game from Steam. In this tweet, he called other indie devs to action, “tonight I pulled all my games from @steam and I don’t see myself publishing with them ever again. I urge other indie devs to join me.”
Shortly after this post a few other devs also tweeted out their support by requesting to remove their games from the platform. Gabriel Koenig of Ghost Time Games removed his games saying “Steam is nothing without our games. We have the power to demand change. Dev friends, consider using your voice.”
It has come out today that Valve will be sponsoring the Game Devs of Color Expo that will be held on September 19th online. Instead of coming from Valve, it came from the Expo’s creator. Valve still has yet to have made any kind of public support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
I commend the devs that have done this or are thinking about it. Steam needs the indie market to survive. The ratio of indie games to AAA games is so vast that without them steam will take a hit. Valve has made it clear that they will continue to turn a blind eye to the issues that plague their community. If they’re not willing to change what they will and won’t allow then hitting them in the wallet might be enough motivation.
why it matters
Now it doesn’t fall on Steam to solve the problem of Racism. However, they have the final say on what happens on their service and as always they prefer to just do nothing. In saying nothing they perpetuate the narrative that it’s ok to continue with racism on their platform. They have the size and money to actually do something and make a change.
Julian hit it correct when he said “I feel that some of these people are the people who most need to hear the message of Black Lives Matter.” Indie devs, gamers, and publishers that all put out a message of support don’t stop at just words. Put those words to action. Donate, sign petitions, create programs, be the change you want to see.
To those looking to help out the Black Lives Matter cause you can find more information here https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/