Indie devs are pulling their games from Steam following Valve's insistent silence regarding the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality. Valve is a major gaming company, and a dominating force for the PC market, and their silence regarding real-world issues has been glaring. Some developers are absolutely fed up.
Many companies have spoken out regarding BLM when protests reached a global scale following the murder of George Floyd due to a police officer killing him via pressure on his neck. The violence and callous nature of the video went viral, and the world rose up together to fight back. Since the initial protests, which are still ongoing, the police officers were arrested and more and more "cold" cases have been re-opened. With so many companies pledging their support and putting their money where their mouth is, Valve's continued avoidance has rubbed many devs the wrong way.
Related: Destiny 2 Pays Tribute to George Floyd In Support of Black Lives Matter Movement During Showcase
One such case of an indie studio pulling their hard work from the client is Art Sqool creator Julian Glander, who shared the below message on their Twitter:
“Over the past few weeks, Steam and Valve have chosen not to address the Black Lives Matter movement, failing to make even a broad and generic statement about racial justice,” they mentioned in the above post.
“It’s clear than ever that the owners of this platform feel beholden to a base of angry white male gamers. This makes me especially sad because I feel that some of these people are the people who most need to hear the message of Black Lives Matter. Obviously, as a company, you guys do whatever you want but I find having my games associated with the Steam platform to be embarrassing and a little nauseating.”
Since the message went live, Glander removed both Art Sqool and Lovely Weather We're Having from Steam, with more and more developers joining the fray. While some may take this action and see it is as little due to the nature of the games and how "niche" they are, this is a big deal. There has been a lot of discourse for years now, but especially so this past month, and many companies are being louder than ever when speaking out against injustice.
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With the Epic Games Store and GOG both being much friendlier in terms of developer support with higher revenue cuts and more resources, this move against Valve is just one of many that shows that times are changing. Valve is no longer without competition and with Valve being the only well-known PC client not to speak out, this will present a very significant shift in how this company is seeing within the community on both the gamer side and the professional side.
For those looking for different ways to help, here are a few valuable tools regarding the Black Lives Matter movement.