Valve hasn’t done enough in support of Black Lives Matter, leading to indie developers pulling their games from Steam.
Following the death of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter movement has moved to the forefront of world news yet again. Alongside protests, riots, and petitions for reform, a plethora of companies have spoken out and given their support to Black Lives Matter. This support has included delaying events in order to keep the movement from being overshadowed. The start of new seasons in Fortnite and Call of Duty, as well as the EA Play Live event and the PS5 reveal were all postponed.
Valve, however, has been silent. Outside of a “Black Voices in Gaming” list that was visible on Steam during the Guerrilla Collectives streams, Valve hasn’t commented further.
Due to this silence, several independent game developers have opted to remove their games from the Steam storefront. Julian Glander, developer of Art Sqool, tweeted out his reasoning for removal, stating the game is no longer available on Steam and he is likely to never publish there again.
— Julian Glander (@glanderco) June 12, 2020
Gabriel Koenig, director of Ghost Time Games, followed suit with a tweet of his own. He encouraged other developers to consider the power they truly have in this situation and to use their voice.
I put in a help request to remove my paid games earlier this week as well. Steam is nothing without our games. We have the power to demand change. Dev friends, consider using your voice. Steam will not be getting any more money from me. https://t.co/yYK1ZMA0wg
— Ghost Time Gab (@GhostTimeGames) June 12, 2020
Dean Sanderson, the developer of horror game First Winter, has similarly removed his title from Steam and tweeted out a message detailing his reasons.
To be honest, it's the very least I could do. First Winter makes no money anyway but still. It's the principle. And considering the shocking shit going on in London today, had to do something. #indiedev @GhostTimeGames pic.twitter.com/foidTRECzo
— Dan Sanderson 🇪🇺 (@danthaiwang) June 13, 2020
In the message, he mentions Itch.io having done “their bit in the struggle for equality.” Itch.io recently released a Bundle for Racial Injustice and Equality, which features Julian Glander’s Art Sqool, raising a whopping $8.1 million for charity.
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Valve remains silent, even in the wake of these small-time indie devs leave the platform.