Hatred Taken Down, Then Reinstated, On Steam Greenlight


You know you messed up when Valve co-founder Gabe Newell descends from his PC gaming throne to correct the problems his employees brought him unto. So was the case yesterday, when he learned that controversial (and arguably edgy) serial killer simulator Hatred was taken down from Steam Greenlight late Monday night. However, after conferring with his employees on the matter, it appeared that they had done so under less than reputable circumstances, forcing him to reach out to the creative team at Destructive Creations and offer them an apology.

Below is the email from Gabe Newell to the creators of Hatred:

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"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."

As much as I have no interest in games that provide the appearance of “being hardcore and (literally) visceral for controversy’s sake,” I applaud Newell’s decision to overrule his team and put Hatred back on Steam Greenlight. It had become the service’s 7th most up-voted title before its removal, and has since risen to #1 on their charts, according to internal information posted on the Destructive Creations’ Facebook page.

Steam had every right to remove the game, even if it was under their current FAQ restrictions of “offensive material.” It was not the case of censorship, but of capitalism; they’re a company that has to look after their image. However, when games like Manhunt and Postal already on the service, it seemed like preventative measures against eventual PR disasters that could arise from concerned parents. Fox News could have a field day with this, incorrectly linking violence in video games such as Hatred and co-opting Valve as a promoter of serial violence.

Thankfully, Valve will take the high road and allow a controversial game such as Hatred go through Steam Greenlight, even if it means taking the brunt of possible criticism in the future. Being so far away from completion, it makes no sense to prevent a game from being completed because of its violent nature, even if it’s the most “in your face” kind of way that Hatred presents itself. Let the market decide if it’s a game worth playing or creating, and let the gaming community decide the kind of people that clamor for those types of games, respectively.

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