Power to the Devs, Steam Allows Developers to Make Bans

Valve is giving the ability to ban out troublemakers to developers.

After making a couple of moves to clear the air surrounding the "pay for mods" program, Valve is making another change in favor of developers. Starting today, developers will have the ability to ban out anyone from playing their games.

In what seems to be a passing on of the torch, Valve has given developers the ability to ban anyone causing trouble. Valve recently put up a statement on Steam stating:

Because nobody likes playing with cheaters.

Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats.

And even though the devs are able to carry out their own forms of punishment, Valve will still be the ones laying down the actual hammer. The developers are only able to detect and single out the disruptor, and if they do, Valve will ban them.

"Game developers inform Valve when a disruptive player has been detected in their game, and Valve applies the game ban to the account. The game developer is solely responsible for the decision to apply a game ban. Valve only enforces the game ban as instructed by the game developer."

This also seems like an act that will lay off some extra baggage for Valve. With the thousands of games on Steam, it is impossible for Valve to try to keep track of all the agitators out there. Furthermore, it would be a lot easier for a game's own developers to detect any kind of problem going on within their system.

Recently Valve has been making a lot of decisions to try to tilt the scale in favor of wanting to involve developers of every sort. These new rules seem to give the devs a lot more control of what's going on in their communities, and as a creator, what else could you ask for? 

Published Apr. 30th 2015
View Comments
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    This is in no way a good idea. Given how many devs we have seen censoring criticism on Steam, deleting forum threads, and more shady behavior, giving them more power is not a good idea. Players usually weed out the toxic mushrooms and cheaters and deal with them themselves.

    Also, like Ashley said, we have rights since we have purchased the game. If you are able to be banned from a game you paid to play, they better institute a refund policy. Fellow players aren't always paragons of justice and equality as we have seen with "swatting." What's to stop someone from reporting you simply because they did not like what you said or other reasons?

    Valve is once again opening the floodgates without considering the repercussions of their actions.
  • Victor Ren
    You know when I first initially heard about this I thought it was a good idea. Valve would't have to be monitoring the thousands of games out there, and the devs would appreciate that power. Now that I think about it more I can see where you guys are coming from.

    I think if there was an issue with players being just mean, then the devs would have a way of seeing what they were banned for, and how they acted in game. Don't most games have a review policy before laying down the hammer?

    If you were banned from a game you paid, I think giving out a refund would be more of just a good moral decision. There isn't a have too aspect of it, because the player knew how they were suppose to act, but purposely screwed up.
  • The Soapbox Lord
    Featured Contributor
    Like Ashley said though, what if you get banned because some other player falsely reports you for harassment? Just because someone is punished does not mean they are guilty per se.
  • Victor Ren
    I want to believe that most developers do review what you were doing to be reported for harassment. I know Riot does with League of Legends.
  • Ashley SSS
    Associate Editor
    I really don't agree with this, primarily because devs will be able to ban players from games they paid for over arbitrary stuff, should they feel the need to. God forbid you go onto a game's forum and get in a heated debate with another user and something about it rubs the dev the wrong way and they decide to click the "Harrassment" button.

    What happened to you owning a copy of a game instead of simply buying a license to use it (and at the same price as owning it)? Oh, right, the convenience of digital distribution was deemed more important than the rights of consumers. I forgot completely! Wow, gaming industry, you surely are at the forefront of imaginative ways to strip away consumer rights.
  • Victor Ren
    I think the developers should be pretty reasonable when it comes to laying down the hammer. I mean, for what it's worth they wouldn't want to create a bad image of themselves. And also freedom of speech should be applied. There are plenty of really annoying communities where the developers are really lenient, for example Riot Games.

    I don't see what you mean by this stripping away community rights, usually if your doing something bad, your going to get banned either way. Comparing this to the digital distribution nowadays is like apples to oranges.
  • Si_W
    All very well for new-ish games where the devs are active in policing their games, but what about older games?

    Of course, that still wouldn't be resolved with Steam looking at them either...
  • Victor Ren
    I could be wrong but I think a lot of developers still look into their games even if they are older. The only way I see where they don't is if it is an older game in a series.

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